Some businesses are seeking “no-hit, no-work” contracts for workers, as the vaccine minister suggested it “depends on the businesses what they do”.
Barchester Healthcare, which runs more than 200 care homes in the UK, has already announced that all new recruits should be vaccinated Covid-19, unless they have medical reasons for not getting the stroke.
And Pimlico Plumbers based in London said when vaccination are available, all new workers will need to have one. Attorney Philip Landau, whose firm Landau Law works for employees, said he has seen several employers waiting for staff to agree to take the blow or be disciplined.
This comes as vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi said some companies could continue with their schemes despite Boris Johnson confirming the government will not introduce domestic vaccine passports.
He told the BBC on Tuesday: “It depends on what businesses do, but we still do not have evidence of the effect of vaccines on broadcasting. “
Barchester Healthcare wrote on its website that it is encouraging all existing staff to get the coronavirus stroke and will ensure that all new staff “should get vaccinated (if they can medically) before starting work by wanted our vulnerable residents and patients. “
The statement, last updated on Tuesday, continues: “We have been working hard to ensure that all our staff are aware of the facts about vaccination, and as we have said before we have made a lot of communication to understand and alleviate any concerns. “
The care home provider told ITV News on Wednesday that one possibility it is considering is that staff who refuse the vaccine for non-medical reasons will not be able to work.
But she said it is still “part of an ongoing dialogue” and “is constantly reviewing this as more information is available”. He said he does not intend to discriminate against anyone and is aware of such concerns.
To make her care homes safe, Barchester said she is ensuring all staff are aware of the facts about vaccination and has conducted a study to understand any suspicions.
Meanwhile, the UNISON union has written to care minister Helen Whately urging the government to send a strong message to employers that putting pressure on staff to get the vaccine as a condition of their work is completely unacceptable.
Pimlico Plumbers chief Charlie Mullins told ITVs Good Morning Britain on January 19 that he would adjust existing staff contracts to say they should have the vaccine and that “99% of the company seems satisfied with it”.
But one blog online later clarified that he would not force anyone to take blows.
Mr Mullins argued for Good Morning Britain: As employers, we have a duty and a right to take care of our staff, to make sure they are safe under health and safety laws. In no way would existing staff or clients be endangered by someone coming who has not been vaccinated.
He added: “Obviously, there will be exceptions they may not have, for whatever reason, but at the end of the day, we need to look at the general thing, and all customers will be looking for one who has the vaccine.” “
Mr Landau said his law firm has seen cases where employers “have sought to make it clear that they expect staff to take action otherwise they will be disciplined”.He said the cases he has seen have been “sales roles, offices and types of retail” so far.
“Those companies expose themselves to a significant risk of a claim if they seek to implement a ‘no-frills, no-work’ policy without a strong health and safety reason doing so,” he warned.
What the law says about employers forcing employees to get the Covid vaccine
Mr Landau explained: “In general, employers have a duty to keep their employees and customers safe.
Moving from this, nothing stops employers from encouraging workers to be vaccinated, but they have no legal right to force their workers to take the blow.
He explained that it could be discrimination if employers try to apply the blow against the employee’s wishes by making it a condition of continuing to work. Dissatisfied employees can go the constructive way of dismissal.
The same is true if there is no religious or medical reason for the employee to refuse the stroke, Mr Landau warned.
The position is different for new employees. He said: “Employers can say, ‘We want proof that you did the vaccine’, as long as there is no medical or religious reason why they can not get the stroke.”
He said the situation may be different for environments such as nursing homes: When dealing with vulnerable patients, it can be argued that health and safety obligations are such that shock is a necessary condition for continuing to work. Employers are in a stronger position.
But Mr Landau warned that all this was unproven.
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