The Employment Law team at Tozers delivered one of their biannual seminars last month. One of the talking points was whether employers can legally force their staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Apart from the special case of care workers, employers would in most cases be better advised to encourage, rather than oblige, their workers to be vaccinated.
A mere day after the Tozers Employment Webinar, the results of a survey of 400 HR directors commissioned by Indeed Flex were published. These showed that 7 in 10 directors propose to introduce compulsory vaccination rules to their workplaces. One in five went further and said there would be no exemptions to the requirement to be vaccinated. And a third said only vaccinated staff will be able to return to the office.
However, even if a seemingly high proportion of other employers are considering making covid jabs compulsory, that does not necessarily mean you should too. As suggested earlier, workers in the care industry will, from next month, be legally required to be vaccinated. However this same law will not apply to the rest of the working population, and the usual employee protections against discriminatory treatment and breach of contract will continue to apply in its absence. There are also complex issues around data protection in keeping track of employees’ vaccination status. You should therefore consider these important issues before attempting to encourage – or even mandate – vaccinations amongst your workforce and, if in doubt, seek professional advice on your particular circumstances.
How can Tozers help?
For further information or specific advice on this topic, please contact the dedicated employment team.
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