Vaccine policies – are you considering one for your company?

Wake Smith Solicitors 23 July 2021

MPs have approved compulsory vaccinations for care home staff in England.

From October, anyone working in a Care Quality Commission-registered care home in England must have two vaccine doses unless they have a medical exemption.

The House of Commons approved the regulations, which will come into force in around 16 weeks, after concerns about the number of deaths in care homes from COVID 19 and the low take up of the vaccine among some care home staff.

The latest ONS stats revealed almost 30,000 more care home residents in England and Wales died during the Covid-19 outbreak than during the same period in 2019.

Joan Pettingill, Director - Head of Employment Law & HR Services at Wake Smith Solicitors, looks at the issue of vaccination policies for employers.

“The only way a company can roll out a successful vaccination policy is in close consultation with its HR managers and legal representatives, and by asking its employees what they actually want with regards to vaccinations.

“Employees are entitled to make their own decisions about getting vaccinated, and some won’t want to disclose their reasoning for wanting the jab or not.

“Issues arising could include privacy concerns particularly where workers are deemed non-essential; health issues, family considerations and other factors, which don’t need to be discussed in a professional setting, if they don’t directly impact the person’s work; and asking too much about an employee’s personal situation.

“For companies with staff who aren’t deemed to be key workers, mandating vaccinations has more implications. Your organisation’s code of ethics should be considered to make sure you’re meeting your employees’ expectations.

“Some businesses previously offered flu jabs, which were seen as a welcome initiative by many, but Covid-19 and its repercussions such as lockdown and restrictions, seems to have brought about a different response from people.

“Employers looking at vaccine policies and the legal implications around it, should contact us. We can provide help with this.”

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For further advice on any employment law and HR matters contact Joan Pettingill at Wake Smith Solicitors on 0114 266 6660 or at [email protected] 

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