REUTERS NEXT-Unilever 'strongly encourages' workers to get COVID vaccine

LONDON, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Unilever is strongly encouraging its employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus as soon as it is available to them, its chief executive officer told Reuters on Wednesday.

“We will be strongly encouraging, not mandating,” CEO Alan Jope said in an interview at the Reuters Next conference. “We will be doing what we can to make sure we create access to vaccines for the Unilever team, but we will do it in a very principled way.

“I don’t want any of my employees to be jumping the queue on frontline medical workers or vulnerable people.”

Jope, whose company is one of Britain’s biggest, said that for certain employees who decline the vaccine, rapid testing could be used to keep workplaces safe.

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To watch Reuters Next live, visit here (Additional reporting by Keith Weir in London, Editing by Nick Zieminski)