Employers have a duty of care, so far as is reasonably practicable, to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees, as well as those who physically interact with the business. There is currently no statutory provision which will enable them to legally enforce a mandatory vaccine. By trying to impose this rule employers will expose themselves to the risk of discrimination claims, unless the organisation can justify the approach as being a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
Should employees raise concerns about having the vaccine, it is important to listen to them and take them seriously. We would advise employers to encourage employees to take up the vaccine under the current government programme without mandating it. They should also consider what other protocols or practices they could be in place to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees such as workplace testing and creating a policy on vaccinations.
Covid-19 has had a major impact on the way we work and has created numerous challenges for both employers and employees. We would recommend a