Fashion boss Brunello Cucinelli offers vaccine holdouts six months paid leave

World | 23 Jul 2021 11:22 am

Italian luxury boss Brunello Cucinelli is offering six months of paid leave to a handful of employees who have refused to vaccinate in order to protect workers who have taken their shots, Reuters reports.

As the Rome government debated whether to make the jabs mandatory in some workplaces,

Cucinelli said on Thursday that less than 1 percent of his group's 1,200 workers had opted out of a vaccination campaign organized by the company a month ago.

"Clearly within the company their identity became known straight away. Now, as it's only logic, the lads who used to work at the same table don't want to be near those who have chosen not to get vaccinated," Cucinelli told La Repubblica and La Stampa newspapers.

"My proposal for them is to stay home with six months paid leave and then we'll see," he said. "I can't impose the vaccine, but I can't put at risk those who decided to get vaccinated either."

Cucinelli, famous for US$1,000-plus cashmere sweaters, often promotes what he calls a "humanistic" approach to capitalism, based on respect for people and nature.

The company is headquartered in the medieval hamlet of Solomeo, in central Italy, where Cucinelli has repaved roads, planted vineyards, built a theatre and founded an arts and crafts school.

His offer for vaccine hold-outs comes as Italy's business lobby Confindustria called this week for coronavirus jabs to be made mandatory in the workplace - a proposal that looks unlikely to make much progress given political opposition to such measures.


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