A number of recent polls and surveys have revealed the attitude of Managers to their staff being obliged to be vaccinated against Covid 19.
The Chartered Management Institute has conducted a number of surveys over the last few weeks involving over a thousand Managers and the outcomes are illuminating:
- 50% of Managers voiced concerns over managing the potential conflict between staff reluctant to have the Covid vaccination and staff who felt unsafe working with those who do not have the Covid vaccination.
- 59% of Managers took the view that it was a Manager’s role to encourage employees to have the vaccination.
- 43% of Managers agreed they should restrict access to the workplace for staff who refused the vaccine for non-medical reasons.
- 58% of Managers took the rather firm line that they believed Covid vaccinations should be mandatory for staff returning to their regular place of work.
Ann Francke, the Chief Executive of the CMI, said Managers had “shown a significant level of support for mass testing and vaccinations. Ultimately, nobody can be forced to receive the vaccine, but if an individual chooses not to be vaccinated, remote working must be an available option so as not to put colleagues at needless risk.”
Ben Wilmot, the Head of Public Policy at the CIPD, said employers should encourage staff to have the vaccine when offered, in-line with public health advice, and suggested they be flexible about working hours or paid time off to enable people to attend their vaccination appointments.
This is in the context of the TUC conducting a surveyor of 1002 firms and finding that only 45% are committed to allowing staff to take time off work with pay once they were offered a vaccination appointment. The TUC’s General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, said every worker should be entitled to paid leave to have their vaccination and while they recover from any side effects. This follows their concern that employees may turn down the opportunity to be vaccinated during working hours to avoid losing out on pay.
Consequently, the TUC has urged the Government to put pressure on employers to give staff paid time off to receive and recover from their Covid vaccinations.
To their credit, major businesses, including IKEA, Metrobank, Timpsons and the John Lewis Partnership, have offered full pay for their many employees who need to take time off to have the Covid vaccination.
Although it is a matter for each and every employer, the TUC would certainly urge all to:
- Permit their employees to take time off during working hours to have the Covid vaccination and, perhaps more importantly:
- Pay them in full if they do so.
If you require guidance on any of the above issues, or have any other queries in relation to employment or HR law, please contact Jonathan Moreland by email at email@example.com or call him on 0191 3842441.
With thanks and acknowledgement to Practical Law Company/Thomson Reuters, People Management and The Guardian.