Zalando is now offering its approximately 14,500 employees in its logistics centers and offices free vaccinations during working hours. In-house vaccination centers have been set up at four German sites, where employees have already received their first vaccination. The aim is to support all employees who wish to be vaccinated and contribute to the general population’s immunity. Jan Bartels, SVP Customer Fulfillment, spoke with us about Zalando's vaccination offer.
Jan, the Federal Government has officially lifted the vaccination prioritization. Why is Zalando now getting involved in the vaccination campaign?
As of this week, company physicians in Germany are allowed to administer COVID-19 vaccinations. As the health and safety of all our employees is our top priority, we would also like to offer all our colleagues the chance to get vaccinated on site. We have been preparing for this for many weeks and it can start as soon as the vaccine arrives. It’s a way for us to contribute to the vaccination efforts seen across the globe, bringing us one step closer to that longed-for normality.
What is Zalando's approach to COVID-19 vaccinations?
In recent weeks, an interdisciplinary task force has developed a roll-out concept for vaccinations at Zalando, which can now be implemented with the official involvement of company doctors as part of the German vaccination campaign. Zalando has set up in-house vaccination centers at a total of four locations: the Zalando Campus in Berlin, and at each of the German logistics centers in Erfurt, Lahr and Mönchengladbach.
What are your goals?
We have deliberately not set a vaccination quota as a target, because vaccinations are absolutely voluntary and a completely personal decision. However, our basic goal is to inform and educate all employees about their options. Everyone should make a fact-based decision as to whether he or she would like to be vaccinated against COVID-19; whether in a doctor's office, a vaccination center or with our company physicians. We would like to make an offer to all employees who would like to be vaccinated with Zalando as soon as possible.
What are the current challenges?
Our vaccination centers have been infrastructurally operational for many weeks and test runs with our company physicians went smoothly. The biggest challenges, as in many general practices, are the provision of sufficient vaccine doses and the coordination of appointments. I ask all colleagues for their understanding that we are working as speedily as possible, and it will take some months to get to everyone. But rest assured, our team is highly motivated and we will get there.
How do you handle the topic at Zalando’s international sites?
At our international logistics sites, such as Italy or Poland, we work closely with our local partners. The legal requirements and the involvement of company physicians in the vaccination campaign vary from country to country, so we have to take this into account. In principle, however, we would also like to offer vaccinations to employees at our international sites as quickly as possible. Vaccination has already been underway at our site in Szczecin since last week.
How does Zalando ensure the safety of its employees?
With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Zalando was able to adapt its business activities and processes so that many employees work remotely. For areas where this is not possible, such as the logistics centers and Zalando Studios, comprehensive safety and hygiene measures were immediately introduced that meet or exceed the requirements of the authorities. In addition to these measures, Zalando has been offering COVID-19 tests to all employees free of charge and on a voluntary basis. Since summer 2020, over 250,000 tests have already been conducted at our European sites.