EMPLOYERS could soon be allowed to impose a “no jab, no job” policy for new workers who refuse the coronavirus vaccine, the justice secretary has said.
It is currently illegal to force someone to have a vaccine, including workplace bosses.
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Bosses could force new employees to get the coronavirus vaccine before being hired
But in an interview with ITV‘s Peston on Wednesday, Robert Buckland said in theory it may be legal for companies to write into new contracts that staff must be inoculated against Covid-19 before being employed.
He added that it would very much depend on the terms of employment and other requirements in the contract.
However, it is unlikely bosses will be able to force staff on existing contracts to have the Covid-19 vaccine as it is not included in their terms of employment.
Mr Buckland said: “Generally speaking I’d be surprised if there were contracts of employment existing now that did make that approach lawful.
“I think frankly the issue would have to be tested.”
Employment lawyers previously told HOAR that employers cannot physically make you have the vaccine.
But firms can introduce measures to encourage you to get a vaccination, with some companies rewriting their contracts to say that all staff need to have the jab.
It comes after Pimlico Plumbers boss Charlie Mullins said he won’t hire anyone who hasn’t had a Covid vaccine as part of a strict a “no jab, no job” policy.
Today, Mr Mullins, 68, said lawyers have already approved his plans for new employees.
He told Channel 4 News: “We’ve already had the contracts drawn up, lawyers are very happy with them.
“They say it’s legal under health and safety laws and we have an obligation to protect our staff and our customers.”
Speaking to BBC’s Radio 4 later, he added that the contract clause would only be allowed once the vaccine is rolled out to everyone.