Released On 16th Apr 2021
Jab vs No Jab
Now that the vaccine is starting to hit the working demographic age groups it is not just care homes facing the ethical dilemma of making vaccines compulsory.
Businesses have a health and safety requirement to employees and customers but the vaccine is not something that is set out in health and safety law. It is dividing opinion with some people refusing it for numerous reasons including, medical conditions, ethical or religious beliefs or fear and uncertainty.
The ‘no jab, no job’ policy is most prevalent in the care sector where big industry names like Barchester Healthcare have announced their policy will be that employees are required to have had the jab.
Pimlico plumbers is also one of the first organisations to state that they intend to mandate vaccines. Bringing in a change of policy like this isn’t a quick process and they envisage it will be in place in the next 2-3 months. Pimlico originally thought their workforce would be against this change however on the contrary it has been very positively received.
The commercial and safety benefits of ‘no jab, no job’ policies are compelling however mandating vaccines can lead to ethical and discrimination concerns. With the vaccine currently only offered to over 40s and not recommended to some groups including those who are pregnant there is the potential for discrimination to occur. The Equality Act philosophical beliefs section and potentially the European Convention of Human Rights provide those who do not believe in immunisations possible protection.
There is argument that we should be encouraging education and explanation rather than compelling people to have it. This is the approach of Seven Trent, they will not be mandating the vaccine because of various demographic discomforts, however they will be encouraging employees to be vaccinated. They don’t have policies around any other vaccine and this will be the case of most businesses. At RBHR we have not previously been asked for a vaccine policy and are unaware of any organisations that compels people to have the flu vaccine, whilst COVID is more deadly this isn’t an established practice.
Whichever side you are leaning to, ‘jab, or no jab’, contact us for support navigating this divisive topic to ensure your business is legally compliant with your approach.