“No jab, no job” – consider the risks of forcing employees to be vaccinated

Pimlico Plumbers will introduce a “no jab, no job” policy requiring all of its workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Charlie Mullins, Pimlico’s founder has said that he will introduce new employment contracts for the 400-strong workforce to include the vaccine requirement. However, it is important to note that attempts by companies to force employees to be vaccinated could lead to claims of discrimination or constructive dismissal, potentially opening employers up to employment tribunal claims. Employers have to balance their duty of care for employees during the pandemic against their duty not to discriminate.

If an employee has a religious or philosophical belief that they should not receive a vaccine this is likely to give rise to a claim that the employer is discriminating by forcing that employee to be vaccinated. This is potentially a huge issue for care employers who want to be able to reassure their clients, residents and service users that staff working with them, are safe. The best way to reach agreement is to consult employees about vaccinations rather than trying to impose them.

Other business owners are taking a public stance in this subject and stating that they will “strongly encourage” their staff to be vaccinated. In the current climate, employers should be careful about how strongly this “encouragement” is couched; in order to avoid making staff feel pressurised to take the vaccine, or leave their employment.

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