Home Business News XpertHR warns employers not to force employees to take vaccine

XpertHR warns employers not to force employees to take vaccine

by LLB staff reporter
4th Jan 21 12:42 pm

UK employers can’t force their employees to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available, XpertHR warns as it launches new HR resources on vaccinations for staff – but they should inform their workforce about the vaccination programme and encourage them to be vaccinated.

In early December a new Opinium poll suggested that more than a third of the public (35%) are unlikely to take a COVID-19 vaccine when available, while 48% worry it will not be safe, 47% worry it will not be effective and 55% worry that it will have side-effects.

Jeya Thiruchelvam, Managing Editor at XpertHR said, “Many people have concerns about the vaccine, so employers must recognise this and tread carefully when the roll-out moves to people of working age. Encouraging employees to take the vaccine is fine – but forcing them is not.

“If employees do not agree to a vaccine, employers are limited in what they can do. They could say that refusing a vaccination may lead to disciplinary action, but such a policy is likely to cause employee relation problems.

“Disciplinary action for refusing to take the vaccine could risk complaints relating to discrimination because of religion or belief, disability and age; constructive dismissal; and human rights issues. So we recommend employers take a cautious approach and encourage take up of the vaccine through education and awareness, but ensure employees understand it is a personal decision with no pressure from the organisation.”

XpertHR has updated its coronavirus section with new resources for HR on vaccinations for staff, which includes a model policy and letter. Organisations can use the model policy to provide employees with information on the national COVID-19 vaccination programme and encourage them to be vaccinated when the opportunity arises.

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