Methode Electronics, one of Malta’s major manufacturing companies, has informed its staff that they must either get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo a PCR test every single week.
In a memo sent to workers yesterday, Methode said all staff are to send a copy of their COVID-19 vaccination certificate or vaccination cards to the Health and Safety Department by 31st July.
Employees who have a valid medical reason not to get vaccinated must provide a medical certificate to Health and Safety confirming it is not advisable for them to receive the jab.
By 31st July, all employees who haven’t sent in their vaccination certificates or cards will have to carry out a weekly PCR swab test. Employees are expected to make their own arrangements for the administration of the test, and any tests carried out during working hours will be deducted from the staff’s vacation leave.
These workers must send their test results to Health and Safety and present a hard copy of them to security personnel prior to entrance. Unvaccinated employees who are unable to produce these test results will not be allowed on Methode’s premises.
Methode has also confirmed that sponsors of sub-contractors that offer a service to the company, including delivery people, will have to ensure that people allowed on Methode facilities are in possession of a vaccination certificate.
An unvaccinated Methode employee told Lovin Malta that this decision is likely to coerce many of her colleagues to get vaccinated.
“So many of my colleagues are getting scared and will probably accept the vaccine, but this is scaring people, not convincing them…it’s just fear,” she said.
Methode isn’t the only Maltese company to adopt these rules in recent weeks. APS Bank announced something similar a few days, and Malta Employers’Association president Joe Farrugia has confirmed he is advising companies that they can go down that path.
“It’s not a punishment on individual employees… the intention rather is to minimise the risk,” Farrugia told Times of Malta. “It’s in the interest of the health of all employees. The employer and employees all have the right to know the health risks to which they are exposed.”
However, Union of Professional Educators executive head Graham Sansone has come out strongly against this tactic, drawing parallels with how Nazi Germany had forced Jews to wear yellow badges with the Star of David.