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Leidos seeks to avoid lay-offs over vaccination mandate

US-based Leidos is closely watching whether the Biden administration will relax a requirement that all government contractor employees be vaccinated against Covid-19 by 8 December, according to the company's chief executive.

The mandate is included in an executive order that President Joseph Biden signed in September. While Leidos estimates that the percentage of its workforce that is vaccinated is in the “mid-90s”, it is concerned it might have to lay off employees who refuse to get vaccinated.

“We don't want to do that and we are working with the legislators and with the White House on a sensible implementation of the executive order,” Leidos chairman and CEO Roger Krone said. “But I would tell you right now, it's fluid.”

Leidos allows unvaccinated people to enter its facilities only if they have recently tested negative for Covid-19. The company has encouraged its workforce to get vaccinated by offering its 35,000 US employees a chance to win prize money.

Krone made his comments to analysts on 2 November while discussing his company's latest financial results. Excluding recent acquisitions, revenue in Leidos' Defense Solutions segment rose 1% to USD2 billion in the third quarter of fiscal year 2021. The segment's operating income declined 3.4% to USD140 million.

Several factors dampened Defence Solutions' performance in the third quarter, including the US troop pull-out from Afghanistan, the global computer equipment shortage, and delays in contract awards from intelligence customers, company officials said.

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