Can you legally demand your employees to get the COVID vaccine?
The last several months have been very stressful for everyone, including employees and employers. Now, with the drive to get everyone in the country vaccinated against COVID-19, you may be wondering how this impacts your work. If you are not planning to get the COVID vaccine, here are the answers to some of those driving questions.
Can My Employer Make Me Have The Vaccine?
The short answer is that your employer cannot force you to have the COVID-19 vaccination. Your employer is unlikely to have had any say about any other vaccines you have or have not had, and the COVID-19 vaccine is no different. You have autonomy over your body and your health is a personal choice.
Do I Have To Disclose My Status?
You do not need to disclose your vaccination status unless your employer has a policy stating that you are required to disclose. Whether or not you are going to get the vaccine, you should not be required to inform your employer.
What Are My Rights?
You have the right as an employee to refuse the vaccine altogether. However, if you plan to do this, it is suggested that you discuss your concerns about the vaccine with your employer so that you both know where you stand. Having had an honest conversation, your employer may request that you work in a socially distant manner, or wear a mask - while these are not legally binding requests, they may be made in good faith.
What Action Can An Employer Take?
While all of the above is true, your employer may be able to take action against you if there are good reasons for you to be vaccinated. There are some situations where refusing the vaccine will go directly against your position - for example, if you are a frontline employee who is working in the healthcare sector, or in a care home. If you have worked in your place of employment for two years or less, you do not have the right to claim unfair dismissal.
Get In Touch
If you want to know more about your rights either as an employee or an employer, Bowsers Solicitors is here to assist you. The rules in this new time can be confusing and difficult to parse, so having professional help can give you a clearer view of your rights. Get in touch with us for advice and to see how we can help you.
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