Employers Can Legally Demand Staff Get COVID Vaccine To Work

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 08 Feb 2021 10:20
Employers Can Legally Demand Staff Get COVID Vaccine To WorkPA Images

Bosses can legally demand that their staff receive the COVID vaccine to protect themselves and others at work.

Ministers have said that employers can request this under the country’s health and safety laws.


It’s thought that companies can opt for the ‘jab for jab’ approach by insisting all staff are vaccinated, but there are concerns there may be problems if people are fired from their jobs for not complying.

VaccinePA Images

According to MailOnline, some ministers are in support of the scheme, while others believe it may foster discrimination.

A government source reportedly told The Telegraph:


Health and safety laws say you have to protect other people at work, and when it becomes about protecting other people the argument gets stronger.

If there is clear evidence that vaccines prevent transmission, the next stage is to make sure more and more people are taking up the vaccine.

The source added that they believe those who cannot take the vaccine for medical reasons – such as those with allergies – should be except from the scheme, however, and therefore cannot be penalised for not having it.

Pfizer makes vaccine possible for COVID 19PA Images

Despite these concerns, there is little precedent for companies being taken to court over the decision to sack unvaccinated employees. In previous tribunals regarding staff being dismissed from their jobs for failing to isolate with infectious diseases, bosses have been ruled in favour of.


One company to have enforced a ‘no jab, no job’ rule is Pimlico Plumbers. The company’s founder, Charlie Mullins, began drafting new employment contracts for its 400-strong workforce last month that would include the requirement to have the COVID vaccine, The Guardian reports.

Mullins said to the publication:

When we go off to Africa and Caribbean countries, we have to have a jab for malaria – we don’t think about it, we just do it. So why would we accept something within our country that’s going to kill us when we can have a vaccine to stop it?

Coronavirus testingPA Images

Meanwhile, Nick Wilcox, a partner at London-based law firm BDBF, stated that employers have to balance their duty of care for employees during the pandemic against their duty not to undermine employees’ trust or confidence in employers.

Wilcox added that there may be issues around mandatory vaccinations as some people may not want the vaccine for reasons such as religious or philosophical beliefs.

If you’ve been affected by coronavirus and want up to date advice, visit the Gov.uk help page here. If you need medical help call NHS 111 or visit online.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, Coronavirus, COVID-19, COVID-19 Vaccine, employment, Now


MailOnline and 2 others
  1. MailOnline

    Bosses CAN legally demand that staff get vaccinated against Covid under health and safety laws, ministers say

  2. The Telegraph

    Employers could insist all staff get vaccinated under health and safety law

  3. The Guardian

    Pimlico Plumbers to introduce 'no jab, no job' work contracts