0370 270 6000

Vaccinations in the Workplace: a higher expectation than one may think

20 May 2022

There is currently no legislation requiring employees within the UK to have the COVID-19 vaccine. However, a recent Acas survey found that approximately 22% of employers intend to require their new staff to have the COVID-19 vaccination, and 21% would require their existing staff to be vaccinated too.

Interestingly, these figures represent a considerable increase when compared with our own workplace survey in December 2021 (Employment & Workforce Survey 2021: Vaccinations in the workplace).  It would be interesting to understand the respondents’ rationale for making vaccination a requirement of employment.

Acas’ guidance on the matter remains the same, in stating that it is better to support staff to get the vaccine rather than requiring them to be vaccinated. (Supporting staff to get vaccinated: Getting the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine for work - Acas)

Where employers do require that employees and future employees are vaccinated, they need to take heed that they may be opening themselves up to future complaints down the line. Staff and applicants could argue that they are being discriminated against on religious and/or health grounds, or because they are pregnant and do not want to be vaccinated.  Where staff have been dismissed as a result of refusing to be vaccinated, this may lead to claims of unfair dismissal.

Related opinions

Long covid and whether this amounts to a disability

The recent Employment Tribunal decision in Mr T Burke v Turning Point Scotland, Case no.4112457/2021 found that long-Covid amounts to a disability.

View blog

Compliance - small businesses and new regulation

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has released a report setting out the impact of new and changing regulations arising from the pandemic on small businesses across the UK.

View blog

Bill to establish an “Office of the Whistleblower”

Baroness Kramer has now introduced the Protection of Whistleblowing Bill as a Private Members’ Bill, starting in the House of Lords.

View blog

New mothers suffer a cumulative loss of income of £66,434 over the following decade

Independent think-tank, the Social Market Foundation (“SMF”), has launched a cross-party parliamentary commission on childcare and its implications for mothers.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up