Jab for Jobs is it legal?

It’s been the big debate of the last few month: Should jabs for jobs be compulsory.

On the one hand are the group who says nobody should be allowed back into the workplace until they have had their Covid vaccination.

That way, they argue, everyone will be safe and have peace of mind.

On the other side are those who claim making jabs compulsory for all workers is discriminatory, would be impossible to police and could pit staff member against staff member.

The Government, we are told, is considering making jabs mandatory for all workers in care homes. No decision has been made at the time of writing and any such law would be unprecedented in modern times.

For the rest of the working population, the Government says it is a business decision for individual employers in general.

There is one thing certain here – it is not currently legal for an employer to force any member of staff to have the vaccination. There could certainly be discrimination or constructive dismissal issues if any company was to insist on such a move.

But at the same time, workers appear to be in favour of ensuring everyone has the jab before we all return to our offices and factories.

A survey for Glassdoor of 2,000 UK employees showed that more than half (56%) think that workers should be required to take a coronavirus vaccine before being able to return to a central workplace.

Furthermore, 68 per cent want social distancing and the wearing of masks to remain in place until everyone in a workplace has been given the jab.

Carina Cortez, Chief People Officer at Glassdoor, said: “The UK Government has made it clear that it is a business decision whether the COVID-19 vaccine is mandatory for all staff.

“With the majority of employees appearing to want standard precautions such as social distancing to remain until all employees have been vaccinated, employers should be working on their office re-entry plan,” Cortez added.

It’s a good point. The best way for all employers to handle a very tricky decision is to talk to their staff and draw up an agreed plan for what happens when they return to work.

Only by taking a detailed weather check on the strength of feeling among staff, can an employer hope to draw up a plan which will have any measure of success and be reassuring to anxious employees.

And the best way of handling staff worried about getting the vaccination is to make as much information about it available as possible.

Ensure everyone has access to clear, impartial advice and guidance and work with your staff to make it as easy as possible for them to get vaccinated when the time comes.

Remember, your employees have been through a hugely difficult time. Work with them to get through the next few months and you are likely to build loyalty, trust and respect which could last for years.

If you need any help or advice on returning to work after restrictions are lifted, just click the button for a free consultation.

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