Big brands join public health body push for employers to promote COVID-19 vaccine to staff

Public Health England has released an employer toolkit in an attempt to get businesses and organisations across the country to roll out internal comms campaigns promoting COVID-19 vaccinations, with some of the UK's biggest brands pledging support.

One of the images from the new employer toolkit to promote COVID-19 vaccinations
One of the images from the new employer toolkit to promote COVID-19 vaccinations

The PHE toolkit includes key messages, vaccine fact sheets, Q&A videos, posters, web banners, social media posts, editorial copy, and email signatures.

A briefing for employers states: “Organisations play a vital role in helping to promote a positive vaccination message to make sure workplaces are safe.”

Employers are being asked to promote key messages to their staff, such as: “Join the millions already vaccinated”, and: “Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic.”

The government is calling on them to use the toolkit to run awareness campaigns in their organisations and “provide employees with access to reliable and accurate information about the vaccine”.

It suggests that employers should “create employee advocates by encouraging staff to discuss their vaccine experiences and share accurate information with colleagues, family and friends”.

Some of Britain’s biggest businesses have already thrown their weight behind the government’s campaign to promote the vaccinations, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

Nine of the country’s largest employers, including Asda, IKEA and Santander, are encouraging their staff – about 240,000 people between them – to get vaccinated.

Slimming World, Metro Bank, Procter & Gamble UK, Nationwide, Severn Trent and Merlin Entertainments are also backing the move to promote positive safety messages and signpost staff to advice on vaccines.

And major trade bodies such as the British Beer & Pub Association and Builders Merchants Federation, whose members employ more than 790,000 people, have also pledged their support.

Matt Hancock, health and social care secretary, said: “It’s fantastic that employers are prioritising the safety of their staff and doing all they can to encourage people to get vaccinated.”

And Nadhim Zahawi, vaccine deployment minister, commented: “I call on every business in the UK, no matter how big or small, to join the national charge and help your employees to access life-saving jabs when they are eligible.”

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