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‘No jab, no job’ to become a rule at one in five employers

A "no jab, no job" policy is being considered by one in five businesses.
A "no jab, no job" policy is being considered by one in five businesses.

One in five employers plan to implement a Covid vaccine “no jab, no job” policy for new and existing staff in the year ahead, according to research.

Conciliation service Acas said its survey of more than 1,000 firms also found half would not insist on Covid jabs as a condition of employment, while one in five were not sure.

There is currently no law in England, Scotland or Wales that says employees must have the vaccine.

It was revealed in September last year that north and north-east care home provider HC-One had started sacking staff who refused to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

Hamewith Lodge Care Home, Aberdeen, operated by HC-One.

HC-One made the vaccine mandatory for all staff in its care homes across Scotland, including in Aberdeen, Invergordon and Fort William.

A spokeswoman for the company has confirmed it is still a condition of employment that all staff are vaccinated.

She said: “Our purpose is to be the kind care company, supporting our residents to lead their best life in homes that are safe and open to visiting, so that residents and their families can come together as they wish.

“We can’t miss any opportunity to make this happen, which is why we announced last year that the Covid-19 vaccine will be a condition of employment for all HC-One employees.

“This was the responsible step for us to take to protect the people we care for, as well as our colleagues, as the evidence clearly shows that vaccination cuts transmission and substantially reduces the risk of hospitalisation.

“Since the vaccination programme started, we have worked tirelessly to support colleagues who choose to be vaccinated, and to understand their individual circumstances, and are pleased with the high vaccination take up we have seen in all our homes.”

In January Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) International, which has offices in Aberdeen, was believed to be the first offshore contractor or operator to demand its workers are jagged before returning to work.

CNR International declined to comment when asked for its latest policy regarding vaccinations.

‘Tricky’ to navigate

Acas chief executive Susan Clews called it a “very tricky” area of employment law.

She said: “Most workplaces are starting to navigate what working life should look like post-pandemic and it is clear from our poll that most employers have no plans to require staff to be vaccinated.

“One in five employers want to make it a requirement for staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in the year ahead but this is a very tricky area of employment law.

“It is always best to support staff to get the vaccine, rather than insisting they get it.

“It’s a good idea for employers to get legal advice before bringing in a vaccine policy.”

Acas’ survey also found 22% of employers wished to only make coronavirus vaccination a condition of employment for new staff, while 21% wanted to make it mandatory for all employees.

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