Trade union offers ‘no jab, no job’ advice
As vaccine roll out continues and the government encourages maximum take up, but in some cases has made this a legal requirement; where does this leave employees?
Where the government has introduced laws making it a legal requirement for employees to have the vaccine, in care homes and for NHS staff, then there will be little, if any, chance for employees dismissed to successfully claim unfair dismissal, says a trade union.
For other employers making it a requirement for new employees would be quite straight forward, but for existing employees this would require a variation of contract to which an employee has the right to object.
Mark Elwen of the CWU says: “Any employee with two years’ service could claim unfair dismissal if they are dismissed for failing to have the vaccine but the employer may still be able to justify their actions as fair, depending on the nature of their business and their reasons for making vaccination a condition of employment.
“Inevitably though, I think we will begin to see a rise in employment tribunal cases. We are entering unknown territory as to what the decisions of tribunals will be.”
In addition, Mark says, employees may try to bring claims under discrimination law if they have religious or moral objections or where employees with certain disabilities are unable to get the vaccine.
Listening is key
“Sadly we are beginning to see entrenched positions between some of those who are pro- vaccination and those who are anti,” says Mark. “We all need to listen to the other side. Someone not having the vaccine could be simply down to them not having any child care, or worried the vaccine will lead them to have sick time off work. Before we call people ‘idiots’, as Tony Blair recently did, let’s try to understand their concerns – on both sides.
“Calling someone an ‘idiot’ is hardly likely to bring anyone round to your way of thinking. In the workplace we must try and resolve these disputes, without resort to disciplines and dismissals”
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