Since the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020, all adults have now been given the option to receive it, with some having their ‘booster jab’ in recent months. Although receiving the vaccine is a choice, some workplaces are now implementing the ‘no jab, no job’ policy that looks to dismiss employees that remain unvaccinated.
The Government had previously announced that vaccinations were mandatory for all health and social care workers, including frontline NHS workers, from April 1st 2022, before revoking this rule for a number of reasons.
An example in the workplace
In January 2021, Ms Allette worked as a care assistant in a nursing home that provided support for those with dementia. Through her own choice, Ms Allete opted not to receive the COVID-19 vaccination and as a result of this, one of the directors had a conversation with her about her reluctance to be vaccinated. She believed the vaccine to be unsafe and “rushed through” without going through proper testing before being rolled out.
A month prior to this, a number of staff and residents in the home had contracted COVID meaning they had to delay their first dose of the vaccine. As a result of the outbreak in the home, some residents sadly died and many of the staff were infected – including Ms Allette.
With the rescheduled first dose of vaccines coming to the care home, Ms Allette still showed reluctance to receive a vaccination. Following this refusal, the director informed her that the following day she would be suspended, pending disciplinary action.
This continued on until Ms Allette attended a disciplinary meeting to explain why she was not willing to abide by a management instruction. The end result of this was Ms Allette being dismissed for gross misconduct as she had failed to comply with a reasonable management request. Although she had appealed this on a number of grounds, these were rejected following a full re-hearing of the facts.
Can I be dismissed/fired for refusing to have the vaccine?
There is not a simple yes or no answer. The law in England says that care home staff and volunteers must be vaccinated in order to work within the residential homes, aside from this, there are currently no other laws that state staff must have the vaccine.
Employers do have obligations to keep the best interest of their staff at heart when it comes to protecting their health and wellbeing within the workplace and in some instances employers may strongly encourage staff to be vaccinated in an attempt to keep others safe.
Enforcing mandatory vaccination within a workplace is a risk as it could be perceived as going against individual human rights. This does depend on an individual’s personal situation and beliefs, including those who for health reasons may be exempt from receiving the vaccine, or advised by health officials not to receive it. In cases like this, it is wise for employers to encourage their staff to be vaccinated, rather than trying to force them to have a vaccination.
Talk to us
As an experienced employment team, we know how and where to obtain information to support your case and assist you. Find out more about our employment services here.
If you have any concerns or questions on your employee rights and are unsure on where you stand with your employer, please contact our team today by filling out the form below or you can call us on 023 9298 1000
|__hssrc||session||This cookie is set by Hubspot whenever it changes the session cookie. The __hssrc cookie set to 1 indicates that the user has restarted the browser, and if the cookie does not exist, it is assumed to be a new session.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-advertisement||1 year||Set by the GDPR Cookie Consent plugin, this cookie is used to record the user consent for the cookies in the "Advertisement" category .|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|
|__cf_bm||30 minutes||This cookie, set by Cloudflare, is used to support Cloudflare Bot Management.|
|__hssc||30 minutes||HubSpot sets this cookie to keep track of sessions and to determine if HubSpot should increment the session number and timestamps in the __hstc cookie.|
|ss||session||This cookie is set by the provider Eventbrite. This cookie is used for the functionality of website chat-box function.|
|TawkConnectionTime||session||Tawk.to, a live chat functionality, sets this cookie. For improved service, this cookie helps remember users so that previous chats can be linked together.|
|__hstc||1 year 24 days||This is the main cookie set by Hubspot, for tracking visitors. It contains the domain, initial timestamp (first visit), last timestamp (last visit), current timestamp (this visit), and session number (increments for each subsequent session).|
|_ga||2 years||The _ga cookie, installed by Google Analytics, calculates visitor, session and campaign data and also keeps track of site usage for the site's analytics report. The cookie stores information anonymously and assigns a randomly generated number to recognize unique visitors.|
|_gat_gtag_UA_162540320_1||1 minute||Set by Google to distinguish users.|
|_gcl_au||3 months||Provided by Google Tag Manager to experiment advertisement efficiency of websites using their services.|
|_gid||1 day||Installed by Google Analytics, _gid cookie stores information on how visitors use a website, while also creating an analytics report of the website's performance. Some of the data that are collected include the number of visitors, their source, and the pages they visit anonymously.|
|hubspotutk||1 year 24 days||This cookie is used by HubSpot to keep track of the visitors to the website. This cookie is passed to Hubspot on form submission and used when deduplicating contacts.|
|_fbp||3 months||This cookie is set by Facebook to display advertisements when either on Facebook or on a digital platform powered by Facebook advertising, after visiting the website.|
|fr||3 months||Facebook sets this cookie to show relevant advertisements to users by tracking user behaviour across the web, on sites that have Facebook pixel or Facebook social plugin.|
|test_cookie||15 minutes||The test_cookie is set by doubleclick.net and is used to determine if the user's browser supports cookies.|