This is a live topic which will be informed by the government’s forthcoming COVID-Status Certification review. The review is exploring how testing and vaccination data could play a role in reopening the UK economy, reducing restrictions on social contact, and improving safety. The CBI has fed into the review, highlighting principles that should underpin any certification scheme. This includes the need for certificates to be based on proof of either a vaccine or negative test, given the sensitivity of vaccinations and testing data, and how it interacts with employment law and people’s fundamental human rights.
In general, employers cannot make having a vaccine a condition of work, and simplistic ‘no jab, no job’ policies will almost certainly be illegal. Requiring staff to have a vaccine on health and safety grounds could be permissible, but only in certain sectors or jobs, and in parallel with other legal obligations. Employers should make reasonable adjustments so that staff can continue to safely perform their role if they are unable or unwilling to be vaccinated.
ACAS recommends that employers support staff in getting the coronavirus vaccine, for example by giving them time off work to attend a vaccination appointment. Employers can play a role sharing the benefits of the vaccine with their employees. They should speak with staff about their approach and any employee concerns where appropriate. For the latest guidance on this topic, visit the ACAS website.
Covering topics including tax payments, support for the self-employed, the Job Retention Scheme and commercial tenancies.
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