This comes after much debate surrounding the controversial policy which would mean that if employees did not agree to be vaccinated, they could be at risk of losing their job.
Robert Buckland, the justice secretary, stated that ‘no jab, no job’ policies could be legal for employers to insist upon when employing new staff if it was incorporated into the contract of employment.
However, for this reason, Mr. Buckland did clarify that this was unlikely to be a viable option for companies which looked to vaccinate existing employees currently working for their organisation.
This news comes after the UK recently hit a milestone in the number of vaccines rolled out, with 15 million people receiving their first dose of the vaccine.
The ‘no jab, no job’ policy was described by the Prime Minister as ‘discriminatory’ and a spokesperson for Mr. Johnson reiterated that “taking a vaccine is not mandatory”.
This was echoed by Mr. Buckland who admitted he would be surprised if ‘no jab, no job’ policies were found to be lawful when dealing with existing employee contracts.
Grace Mole, Senior People Partner at Culture Amp, emphasised the need for employers to carefully consider this issue before instating this policy. Describing it as a “highly risky and complex process” legally, Ms. Mole stated that UK regulations regarding discriminatory behaviour or unfair dismissal would forbid employers from making staff act against their will.
Despite this, some companies such as Pimlico Plumbers have stated that they will not hire new employees that choose to not take the vaccine due to non-medical reasons.
The organisation stated that they would be rolling out new employment contracts within the next two to three months to reflect this new clause.
However, there are concerns that the ‘no jab, no job policy’ could impact young people the hardest as this group will likely be one of the last to receive the vaccine. Lawyers have warned that, again, this could be argued to be a case of discrimination.
The Head of the Coronavirus Vaccine Taskforce recently stated that it is possible every UK adult may be able to receive both doses of the COVID vaccine by August 2021 as the mass roll-out continues.