Majority of firms unlikely to track employees’ vaccination status

A survey of more than 1,000 UK employers by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has found that 78% have no plans to implement ‘vaccine certification’ to verify that employees had had the jab before they return to the office.

Only 5% have rules in place requiring customers, suppliers and employees to provide evidence they have received a Covid-19 vaccine, with 6% suggesting they would introduce similar measures in future.

Boris Johnson has confirmed plans to drop the Government’s advice to work from home wherever possible as early as 21 June, providing that the current easing of coronavirus restrictions continues to go to plan.

Employers will have to tread carefully in demanding proof of vaccination from employees, as this is regarded as sensitive personal health data which is subject to stringent data protection rules.

Employers do not have the legal right to require employees to take a vaccine. The UK government has not made the vaccine compulsory and so neither can employers and nor can they restrict people from attending work if they are not vaccinated.

This subject requires careful handling and strong communication between employers and their staff.  It is important that staff feel safe, that risk assessments are in place and that social distancing is maintained. These steps will provide confidence that employers are doing what they can to protect their staff, regardless of the inability to check on vaccine status. 

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