Gaming operator Melco Resorts & Entertainment is asking employees who have declined to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to submit medical certificates proving they are unfit for taking the vaccines in a bid to push the vaccination rate in the company, according to a complaint to Allin Media by some Melco workers. In addition, it has been alleged that Melco employees will not receive the annual bonus for this year if the vaccination rate does not meet the set target of 75%.
Melco has earlier introduced cash incentives to encourage its staff to take the Covid-19 jabs but the plan has been met with lukewarm response so far. At present only 12% of its employees have been vaccinated, far below the company target of 75%. And now the firm is trying other means to get its staff on board.
According to Melco employees, those who have yet to take the Covid-19 jabs need to submit a certificate issued by public medical institutions proving they are unfit for taking the vaccines before 16 July. Many workers complained that they felt pressured to take the shots, which is against the government’s principle of voluntary vaccination.
One Melco employee, who declined to be named, told Allin Media that she was unable to take the Covid-19 jabs because she was still nursing her toddler son, but that she had been advised by her superior to stop breast-feeding as soon as possible in order to get vaccinated or else she would need to submit a medical certificate. She explained that since public hospitals only issue certificates of breast-feeding to mothers of new-born babies, she will be ineligible and she feels helpless under the pressure.
Meanwhile as a punitive measure, employees who are not vaccinated will not get this year’s annual bonus.
In reply to Allin Media’s inquiry about the above allegations, Melco said the incentive program for Covid-19 vaccination was aimed at encouraging more people to get the jabs to achieve the goal of herd immunity and employees were free to choose whether to take part in the program. The firm did not directly address the issues raised in the employees’ complaint.