The September 2021 St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture “Workplace Vaccina-tion Survey” was conducted among a wide cross section of private firms in St. Lucia. A total of 117 responses were analyzed. Respondents included both members (66.7%) and future members of the Chamber (33.3%).
Firms classified as large, that is employing more than 50 workers had the largest percentage of respond-ents (29%), while those generally classified as small i.e. those that employ between one and nine were the second largest group of respondents (23%); firms that employ between 10 and nineteen workers, the third largest group of respondents (22%).
Firms from all major economic sectors responded to the survey, the retail and distribution sector having the highest number of respondents, (26%) followed by professional services (13%), tourism (12%), man-ufacturing (12%) and financial services (11%).
Sixty-five percent of Chamber members who responded to the survey support a vaccinated workplace policy, with 35% not supporting. The survey also revealed that only 31% of Chamber members offer incentives to staff to encourage them to take the vaccine. Like the rest of the country, the rate of vac-cination among staff of Chamber members is low. Thirty-eight percent of respondents indicated that vaccination rate among their staff is lower than 10%, while 25% report having rates of between 11% and 30%.
Seventy-four percent of respondents report having staff treated for Covid-19, while 96% of responding firms have had to cease operations 1-5 times due to Covid-19. The primary source of information on Covid-19 Vaccination, has been identified as the Ministry of Health (50%) and Doctors (17%).
Overall, the Survey suggests that Chamber Members (65%) are more supportive of a Vaccinated Work-place Policy than non-Chamber Members (26%). Chamber Members (31%) have utilized incentives to encourage staff to be vaccinated while only (15%) of Non- Members have done so. Of note is that only 36% of Chamber Members are considering requiring a proof of vaccination for customers to enter the premises, while an even lower (8%) of non-members are considering this policy.
The St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture will be seeking to dialogue with all rele-vant stakeholders on this most sensitive matter as its’ fundamental interest in the Covid-19 Pandemic is the control, minimization and ultimately elimination of the spread of the Covid-19 Virus that has led to a high number of deaths on our island and a larger number of persons with severe cases of this virus.
The Chamber remains convinced that Vaccination is a critical and key component of the strategy to achieve economic and social viability, by securing employment of St. Lucians. The Chamber strongly believes that vaccination provides a heightened level of protection to citizens and all attempts must be made to encourage and have as many citizens vaccinated as possible.