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Shell considers mandatory covid vaccination and firing staff who refuse 

Shell considers mandatory covid vaccination and firing staff who refuse

“For staff who refuse to comply with a vaccine mandate we would make all reasonable efforts to avoid terminating their employment but will be faced with no alternative but to do so.”

RELATED FT, REUTERS, TELEGRAPH AND WALL STREET JOURNAL ARTICLES BELOW ALL MENTION THE LEAKED INFORMATION THAT JOHN DONOVAN SUPPLIED TO EACH OF THEM

By John Donovan

I am in possession of Shell international comms including a 6 page “Note for discussion” sponsored by Shell Executive Committee member Ronan Cassidy, Chief HR and Corporate Officer at Royal Dutch Shell.

Extracts from the 6 page Note for discussion dated 1 September 2021

The paper examines the case for and against company-mandated vaccination for employees/contractors. Vaccination is one of the most critical barriers to mitigate the impact of Covid. But mandating it for staff and contractors risks violating the ‘respect for people’ principle and inviting some unanticipated consequences.

The paper provides business leaders and Country Chairs with a framework for considering such situations and proposes a mechanism for seeking Group support on an exception basis.

Shell is obliged to provide a safe and healthy workplace for all its employees. This means managing and mitigating the risk from Covid 19, as it is impossible to prevent, contain or eliminate it.

Mandatory employee vaccinations can help protect human rights, including the rights to health, life, and safe and healthy working conditions, by preventing the spread of COVID- 19 between employees and to the wider community. However, mandating vaccination for employees can also impact certain human rights, such as the right to health (if an employee suffers serious side effects), right to work (if a person is not permitted to work without having the vaccine), right to privacy (by requiring disclosure of vaccination status) and right to non-discrimination (if an employee cannot receive the vaccine for a reason that is protected by human rights principles, such as disability).

There is growing pressure to treat vaccinated and unvaccinated staff differently in the workplace.

 It risks violating the ‘respect for people’ principle that individuals are accountable for their health and should be free to make their own choices.

A company-issued vaccine mandate does not compel an individual to receive a vaccination but may make it impossible for them to continue working for Shell if they fail to comply. We will have to decide how to deal with those employees who refuse and determine what exceptions to the policy (for health, religious or other reasons) are acceptable.

There are powerful arguments for and against mandating vaccination. Overall, for the moment, we should stay the course with our current policy of strong advocacy for vaccination, but no compulsion.

Consideration has been given to how employees who choose not to be vaccinated will be handled in line with the ‘respect for people’ principle (see below).

Consideration has been given to the risk of legal challenge to the policy and how it will be managed.

The reputational impact of adopting such a policy has been assessed.

For staff who refuse to comply with a vaccine mandate we would make all reasonable efforts to avoid terminating their employment but will be faced with no alternative but to do so.

Next Steps

Assuming EC support the recommendation, it is proposed that an edited version of this paper is made available to SEGs and Country Chairs to enable them to identify and consider the relatively small number of situations where a case for mandatory vaccination might exist. The case for introducing such a policy in the Gulf of Mexico is already under detailed consideration. While UPD leaders are first pursuing alternatives to a “hard” mandate, it offers a useful first test case to identify under what circumstances the business could move to more stringent measures.

EXTRACTS END

The above “Note for discussion” document was an attachment to a Shell internal email also dated 1 September 2021, from James W.D. Hall, until recently Head of Shell Global Security. Mr Hall is currently Vice President, Government Relations at Shell.

THE EMAIL

From: Hall, James WD SI-UPC/G/P <[email protected]>
Sent: 01 September 2021 14:58
To: Boyde, Stephanie S RDS-HR <[email protected]>; Burke, Nanda L SI-HR <[email protected]>; Cassidy, Ronan T RDS-EC <[email protected]>; de Weerd, Jeroen SIEP-HR <[email protected]>; Franklin, Ian SI-HR <[email protected]>; Harte, Tim S SI-HR <[email protected]>; McGarr, Rebecca D GSUSI-HR <[email protected]>; McNamara, Lucy SI-HRGF <[email protected]>; Moore, Trish SHLOIL-HR <[email protected]>; Solway, Rachel SIEP-HR <[email protected]>; van der Togt, Jorrit JW SDSI-HR <[email protected]>; Verbraeken, Tony PA SI-HR <[email protected]>
Cc: van Barlingen, Jeanine CW SI-HRT <[email protected]>; Hipfner, Annette W SI-HR <[email protected]>
Subject: EC NFD – Mandatory Vaccination

Dear HRE,

Ronan has asked me to share with you the attached paper on the pros and cons of mandatory vaccination and a proposal that we allow mandates in very specific circumstances.  The paper has been worked within the Iris (Group Covid) team with advice and support from some of you.   As you will see, the arguments are finely balanced, hence the proposal to allow a limited mandate for now and learn from implementation before we consider other possible cases.

EC will discuss on Friday.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Regards

James

James WD Hall

Bille Ogale Project Lead

 

Shell International B.V

PO Box 162, 2501 AN The Hague, The Netherlands

Tel: +442079345700

Mob: +316 296 24 326

Email: [email protected]
Internet: http://www.shell.com

ENDS

RELATED FT, REUTERS, TELEGRAPH AND WALL STREET JOURNAL ARTICLES BELOW ALL MENTION THE LEAKED INFORMATION THAT JOHN DONOVAN SUPPLIED TO EACH OF THEM

FT

8 Sept 2021

Shell weighs vaccine mandate and firing staff who resist

Royal Dutch Shell is weighing whether to mandate vaccines for employees and fire those who refuse to comply, according to an internal memo sent to the oil supermajor’s executive committee.

The document, dated September 1, outlined a case for “selective vaccine mandates” initially at offshore and other remote locations where staff live and work and where other criteria were met, including the availability of World Health Organization-approved vaccines.

Employees in other parts of the business could be subject to mandatory vaccination “over time”, the memo said.

“For staff who refuse to comply with a vaccine mandate we would make all reasonable efforts to avoid terminating their employment but will be faced with no alternative but to do so,” the document said.

Read more here

REUTERS ARTICLE

Shell weighs COVID-19 vaccine mandate, firing staff who resist – FT

PUBLISHED

Sept 8 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) is weighing whether to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees and firing those who refuse to comply, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

The oil major outlined a case for “selective vaccine mandates” initially at offshore and other remote locations, where staff live and work, and where World Health Organization-approved vaccines were available, the Financial Times said, citing an internal memo sent to Shell’s executive committee.

The memo, dated Sept. 1, also said employees in other parts of the business could be subjected to mandatory vaccination “over time”, according to the newspaper.

The document states that while “all reasonable efforts” would be made to avoid terminating employment of staff who refuse to comply with the vaccine mandate, the company “will be faced with no alternative but to do so”, FT reported.

Shell declined to comment on the report.

Many companies have come out with mask mandates and changed their vaccination policies amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, spurred by the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant.

Reporting by Arathy S Nair and Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel
**********************

The Telegraph: Live Coronavirus latest news

Shell considering vaccine mandate for some workers

Royal Dutch Shell is considering mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for some of its workers, according to an internal company memo seen by Reuters.

Dated September 1, the memo said the company should “stay the course with our current policy of strong advocacy for vaccination, but no compulsion” but consider a vaccine mandate for certain operations.

It could include employees on offshore rigs where self-isolation would be difficult and disruptive – and those who refuse to comply could face dismissal.

The energy firm employs around 86,000 people in more than 70 countries.

Reuters Syndicated article

Shell weighs ‘jab or job’ policy for employees -document

Sep 9, 2021 | 5:49 AM

By Ron Bousso LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell is considering making it mandatory for workers in some operations to get COVID-19 vaccinations or risk being fired, an internal company document seen by Reuters shows.

The energy company, which employs some 86,000 workers in more than 70 countries, will weigh the pros and cons of the policy at an executive committee meeting on Friday, said two sources who declined to be identified.

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