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Vaccinations – Points To Consider

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on individuals, families and businesses. Still, with the various vaccines becoming available there may be, as the Prime Minister says, ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. 

How should Companies approach the question of vaccinations? There are points for business owners and HR to consider, and this list is by no means final!

  • I believe employers must take a sympathetic approach when communicating with their staff about vaccinations. Consultation is the key. Some employees will be unwilling to take the COVID-19 vaccination. They may have genuine medical, religious or ethical objections or worried about being one of the first and adopting a ‘wait and see’ philosophy.
  • Employees have no automatic entitlement to take time off work to attend a vaccination appointment, but it would be morally right to allow it. To encourage employees to be vaccinated, companies could provide employees with additional paid leave for COVID-19 jab appointments.
  • Remember that at present vaccinations are currently only offered via the NHS. It is not possible to get a COVID-19 jab privately.
  • The official guidance is that most individuals should resume normal activities soon after having their injection. However, some employees will be unwell in the short-term, and it may be useful for Companies to remind their staff about the Absence Policy.
  • There are many different views on the pandemic’s reality, how to follow the new legislation, and even what the term ‘local’ means! Anti-vaxxer comments are found on social media, and some groups of people are blamed for the increases in deaths. All of this produces a polarising effect, and differing viewpoints can quickly ignite verbal hostility. It may be an idea to politely remind employees of the need for respect and avoiding bullying, discrimination and harassment situations.
  • It is also worth noting the legal issues that may arise if employers cite refusing the vaccination as grounds for disciplinary action.

Hopefully, we will see the end of the pandemic in 2021, but the various views on having the jab will provide HR with plenty to consider

Coppice HR provides cost-effective, professional HR support. Contact Paul at Coppice HR (paul@coppicehr.com, 07814 008478 or www.coppicehr.com) to discuss and develop your HR plans, coronavirus related or not!

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