Work place safety is companies call

Leader of the Opposition, Belden Namah again sought further clarification from the Prime Minister as to why certain companies were imposing compulsory COVID-19 vaccination on its employees.

Namah says the rights and freedoms of these employees are being placed at risk by such company policy.

“Under whose jurisdiction do these companies operate? We make laws on this floor of Parliament, either they follow our laws or they break our laws. And we protect the interest, welfare and freedoms of our people, that’s what I’m saying,” said Namah.

Member for Ijivitari Open, Richard Masere called a point of order to explain that businesses have a responsibility to protect their interests. 

Masere said, “The businesses also need to thrive in this particular environment they are in and they need to also protect their employees and protect their customers.”

Prime Minister Marape said businesses need to function, and thus at the work place, companies make their own call regarding work place safety. He emphasized that vaccination is still not compulsory for PNG citizens. 

“We need our economy to be functional, so we find a balance with the safety of our country and people as well as keeping the economy running.

“Our companies in our country will not be imposed by our government that you have compulsory vaccination, that option remains to be open for them but they must operate, it is their call to operate in a safe work place environment,” PM Marape said.

In the meantime, the Prime Minister said the full audit report on the COVID-19 Response Package will be presented in the September sitting of Parliament this year.

PM Marape said, “That report on expenditure, especially that component where igo lo National Control Center, displa K5.67 billion, Treasurer givim statement last week em bai tok exactly what is the intervention gavman mekim.”

Marysila Kellerton