With us all expected to be vaccinated by August, your staff could soon be lining up for a jab. Of course, your main priority will be getting everyone back to work as safely as possible, but some of your employees may have concerns about having the vaccination, which puts you in a tricky position.
We’ve answered some of our most frequently asked questions regarding the Covid-19 vaccination below and provided a free vaccination policy template for you. We’ve made it really simple for you to edit in accordance to your business and send to your employees so they know your stance on vaccinations and testing.

Can I require my staff to have the vaccine?

We all heard Pimlico Plumbers chairman Charlie Mullins plans to rewrite all their workers’ contracts to require them to vaccinated. He said it was a “no brainer”. He even added he was prepared to pay for private immunisations, should they become available, which would also be done in the company’s time.

Whilst this could be considered as something great to do as an employer since it’s taking responsibility for your customers, your staff and the world, in theory, it’s best you don’t try and enforce this on your employees. Not only could it give rise to human rights concerns, but there could also be criminal implications.

However, you can possibly use the Health and Safety at work Act which places a duty on employers to protect the health, safety and welfare of all employees and to take reasonable steps to reduce risks. Therefore, as an employer you will be able to make a reasonable management request that employees be vaccinated as a way to protect workplace health and safety.

Whether the request is reasonable will depend on the surrounding circumstances including the nature of the job, the working environment and the availability of other safety measures. A request to be vaccinated is very likely to be reasonable where employees are at a high risk of being exposed to the virus, such as NHS workers, carers in a care home and even to the point of Pimlico plumbers where employees are entering homes of the public, but if a colleague is actually working from home, then this would not be a reasonable request as they are certainly at a lower risk. This could also be in line with regular covid tests for those displaying no symptoms, as potentially you could have a test every week to make sure you are not positive and putting any of your other work colleagues at risk.

It is best to encourage your employees to have the vaccine instead. You could:

  • Share trustworthy resource about the vaccination to help them make an informed choice
  • Allow them to have the vaccine within working hours without having to take holiday leave
  • Offer full sick pay for staff suffering side affects
  • Explain the importance of them having the vaccine on workplace health and safety
  • Lead by example – share your plans to get the vaccine

Do I need a vaccine policy?

A vaccine policy isn’t a requirement – but it will make life a little easier.

With Covid-19 showing no signs of disappearing any time soon, vaccines could be here to stay annually, so keeping your guidance on record will help clear up any confusion in the future.

For example, if you provide time off for employees for certain employees or just this time around and not the in the future, it’s unfair and may discourage uptake of the vaccine again. It helps to have a policy that everyone can follow.

Your policy could include:

  • Your views on taking the vaccine, i.e., whether you encourage employees to take it
  • How you record staff vaccinations
  • Time off for vaccine appointments (and pay details)
  • Whether you need a proof of appointment
  • Sick pay if staff suffer from side effects
At A4G we want to make everything as simple as possible for you. That’s why we’ve put together a vaccine policy template for you to use, or you can let us take care of it for you.
Fill in your details to download your template, or email employersupport@a4g-llp.co.uk or call 01474 853 856.
If you have any other HR related questions, have a look at our list of services we cover under our new HR service here and get in contact with us.

Download

Covid-19 Vaccination policy template

* Please note that the template has been prepared by our HR Specialists but of course cannot cover every situation for every client. It is your responsibility to ensure that the adapted version for your business complies with your own internal employment policies, contracts of employment and rules and legislation relation to your industry. As a result, A4G cannot accept any liability for any loss caused by it’s use. *

  • By ticking this box you agree to being contacted via email or phone by one of our Advisers, and for the information you provide us with to be kept securely for future communications in line with the new GDPR
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Donna Bygrave

Personnel and Training Manager

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