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Vaccinations & Employment Law

Ever wondered what the UK law is on vaccinations & employment?


With some organisations recently suggesting new vaccine policies which will require employees to take the vaccine before returning to the office, and new application forms reportedly asking candidates questions like ‘have you received the vaccine’ and ‘will you be willing to take the vaccine’ this very interesting legal and ethical debate begins again.


At the moment vaccines are not mandatory, and always have been voluntary under UK legislation. However, what happens if a company pressure an employee to take the vaccine or an employee/ prospective employee receives unfavourable treatment due to not taking the vaccine?


PsycHR advise that organisations ought to tread carefully, as the Equality Act (2010) still protects people against unlawful discrimination; such as pregnant women who are currently exempt from the vaccine, those who are unable or chose not to have the vaccine due to religion or belief, and other protected characteristics including disability such as Trypanophobia (fear of needless)


If you are an employer who wants to encourage vaccinations, some ways in which you can support employees include ensuring paid time off to attend vaccination appointments, full pay to enhance statutory sick pay if an employee is off sick with vaccine side effects.


Note that as an employer if you do consider vaccinations to be compulsory in order for someone to carry out their job, much like a drug test at work, then ensure your vaccine policy is also in-line with your grievance and disciplinary policy and procedures. If a recognised trade union is associated with your industry agreements should be made to decide what is appropriate.


If you need any advice or support as an employee or employer feel free to contact PsycHR at anytime at hello@psychr.co.uk or on 0208 350 9591. We provide free consultations, HR consultancy services and training within the workplace for managers, employees, and HR professional and business owners.


What are your thoughts on workplace vaccinations? Let us know in the comments below or share on social media for other peoples responses. You can tag us at psyc_hr on instagram

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