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24 March, 2021 Open access

Workers should not be forced to have Covid-19 vaccination, says TUC

Forcing workers to get vaccinated will harm trust and employee relations and may also be discriminatory and leave employers open to legal challenge

Workers should not be forced to have a Covid-19 vaccination, the TUC has said.

Responding to reports on leaked details of a paper submitted to the Covid-19 Operations Cabinet sub-committee which show that Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have requested a change in law to make vaccinations for care workers compulsory, TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said -

'Getting everyone vaccinated as quickly as we can is the best way to make sure our workplaces are safe, to protect care home residents, and to open up our economy again.

But forcing workers to get vaccinated isn't the right way to do this. Not only will it harm trust and employee relations, it may also be discriminatory and leave employers open to legal challenge.'

Ms O'Grady went on to say that employers should instead make it as easy as possible for care workers to get vaccinated by giving them paid time off for appointments and guaranteeing decent sick pay for any time off to recover, adding that -

'... if we want our care workers to feel confident about doing their jobs, we should pay them properly, ban zero hours contracts, and ensure they all have decent sick pay. Vaccinations can't be a substitute for comprehensive health and safety measures to make workplaces Covid-secure.'

For more information, see Don’t force workers to get vaccinated from tuc.org.uk