OCBC Bank rolls out employee support programme for Covid-19 vaccine
Singapore, 18 January 2021 – OCBC Bank has rolled out a Covid-19 Vaccination Support Programme for about 10,000 of its employees in Singapore, including its subsidiaries Bank of Singapore, OCBC Securities Pte Ltd, and OCBC Property Services Pte Ltd.
The programme comprises two components:
OCBC Bank has engaged medical experts to educate its employees about the Covid-19 vaccine, its side effects, its efficacy, its effectiveness against new virus variants and how vaccination will affect safe distancing regulations and lifestyles. The purpose is to provide the channel for its employees to raise all the questions and concerns with a medical expert to make an informed decision on whether to be vaccinated or not.
Once an employee has decided to take the vaccine, the employee will receive the following range of support measures.
Customised initiatives will also be rolled out for employees in the Bank’s other core markets as and when the Covid-19 vaccine is rolled out in these countries.
On 15 January 2021, OCBC Bank organised the first education webinar featuring Dr Leong Hoe Nam, a prominent Infectious Disease Specialist. The Bank saw strong interest among employees on the topic of vaccination and doubled the number of seats for the event as registration was fully subscribed within the first few hours of the announcement. The most commonly asked questions were if those with pre-existing medical conditions can take the vaccine, the side effects of the vaccine, what to avoid after vaccination and if it is safe to take more than one set of vaccines from different manufacturers.
Said Catherine Choong, 52 from Investment Operations: “I am glad OCBC organised this webinar. My family and I have been debating whether we should take the vaccine. There has been fake news circulating on social media about the side effects of vaccine. Many of the myths were debunked by Dr Leong. After understanding how the vaccine works, I am now more confident of the decision to take.”
Mr Jason Ho, OCBC Bank’s Head of Group Human Resources, said: “While the decision for taking a Covid-19 vaccination is very personal, we want to help our employees come to a decision based on sound medical advice. For those who want to go ahead with it, we will provide the necessary support to them because we understand the anxiety and stress that comes from having to make such a decision.
“By equipping our colleagues with more information on the vaccination, and providing additional support to them, we empower them to make the best decision for themselves. We will continue to roll out targeted and personalised initiatives to support our people so that they remain resilient and more importantly, safe and healthy.
“Throughout this pandemic, the welfare and resilience of our workforce has been at the forefront of our management team’s minds, given the challenging circumstances we all find ourselves in. We have always believed in taking care of our people in good times, and especially in bad times like this.”
The Covid-19 Vaccination Support Programme is an extension of the Bank’s Covid-19 Care Package to take care of its employees and family through the global pandemic.
The Covid-19 Care Package was launched in Singapore in March 2020 to ensure employees and their family have access to essential care while reducing their potential exposure to infection. The Covid-19 Care Package included:
Similar care packages were designed and rolled out for employees in other core markets.
In 2020, the Bank also gave its employees the flexibility to carry forward additional days of their annual leave to 2021 or encash some days (up to five days) of their annual leave. This was on top of the existing policy which enables employees on the OCBC Flex Plan to convert up to three days of leave for flex credits. These flex credits can be used to reimburse the co-payment of their personal medical expenses, medical expenses of their family members, insurance premiums, wellness expenses and other personal expenses.