One of the largest companies in the country the GraceKennedy Group has announced requirements for its employees, contractors and consultants to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or undergo regular PCR testing.

The decision was announced by group CEO and government Senator, Don Wehby.

The new policy which is to be phased in will come into full effect on April 29.

Chevon Campbell tells us more.

The GraceKennedy Group has become the latest entity to go the route of a vaccinate or test policy.

Details of the draft policy were presented to the team on Wednesday morning.

The new GK Covid-19 vaccination policy becomes effective on January 14.

Under the policy, as of January 14, GK team members will be required to disclose their Covid-19 vaccination status to the Company. 

The Covid-19 vaccination requirement then begins to take effect on February 11, 2022.

 As of that date all GK employees, contractors and consultants will be required to be either fully or partially vaccinated against Covid-19.

 Then, on April 29, 2022, all members will be required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or be subject to PCR testing every two weeks.

If team members, contractors or consultants opt not to be fully vaccinated by April 29 and choose to take a PCR test instead, the cost of the tests will be borne by them.

Mr. Wheby says the timing of the policy and timelines included in the vaccination directive, have been carefully considered based on the availability of Covid-19 vaccines in the markets where GK operates around the world, and the time required between the first and second dose of some types of vaccines. 

The policy will apply to all new and existing employees of GK and will also extend to the company’s third-party contractors, consultants, and independent contractors. 

Applications for exemptions from the vaccination directive for medical reasons will be considered.

The Grace Kennedy Group comprises some 60 subsidiaries and associated companies located across Jamaica, the Caribbean and in North and Central America and the United Kingdom.

Its operations span the areas of food processing and distribution, banking and finance, insurance and remittance services, together with an investment in building materials retailing.

The decision follows similar polices by the Digicel and Cari-Med.