Amid reports of UK companies including ‘no jab no job’ contract clauses for new employees, Ben Stepney from our employment team, recently shared his thoughts on the legalities of this approach with Your Money.
Ben says: “The legal risks associated with imposing a requirement on new recruits to have received their Covid-19 vaccination, as opposed to existing employees, may be less, but still needs serious consideration. The primary concern is of indirect discrimination claims on the basis that the requirement to have received the vaccine could put those of a certain race, religion or with certain disabilities to an unfair disadvantage.
“Employers can justify indirect discrimination where they can show it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, such as protecting the health and safety of the working environment and colleagues they work with. It would be key therefore for employers to have thought through exactly why they wish to require new recruits to have received the vaccination and whether there are proportionately less intrusive means of achieving the same aim.”
“Employers are likely to be on stronger ground in justifying vaccination where the workplace does not make social distancing easy, for example care homes, and with reference to the primacy of health and safety of staff, customers, visitors and service users (as applicable).”
Ben’s comments first appeared in this article in Your Money