The Antigua & Barbuda Hotel and Tourism Association is clear that the first legal obligation of its membership is to provide a safe place of work for all employees.
The Association supports its membership’s understanding that unvaccinated staff pose a higher and now unacceptable risk to other employees in so far as the contraction of Covid is concern.
While being vaccinated does not create an absolute bar to contracting the virus, the experience and science shows that it does significantly and materially reduce the chance of transmission. Many of our staff have young children for whom no vaccine is available.
Having unvaccinated staff and workers poses a risk to other staffs and their families as well as customers and their families. In this regard, we are of view that if we fail to act by implementing a reasonable policy, we could open ourselves up to significant liability.
Mr. Vernon A. Jeffers Snr, Chairman of the ABHTA stated that “In imposing this mandate, our membership is not aware that we are infringing on any persons right. We and our membership are not aware of the right not to be vaccinated. Nor are we aware of any law that can prevent us from imposing a restriction on those who may enter our premises. In fact, we are certain that as it is our premises, we have the right to insist who may enter and who may not. This right we may exercise so long as we do not discriminate by reason of political affiliation, religious conviction, and ethnicity or race. We are confident that we are not so discriminating. We are excluding those persons who pose an unacceptable risk to others if allowed on the premises; Those being unvaccinated persons. We believe this and have been assured it is our Constitutional right so to do.”
At this time, we and our membership have given adequate notice of this change affording all stakeholders the opportunity to consult with their preferred authority and to arrange compliance of or the exit of the affected employees from the employment relationship.
The Time is NOW to vanquish this evil called Covid or be vanquished as a people instead.