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​Government Denies Claims People Could Get Sacked If They Refuse Vaccine

Jess Hardiman

| Last updated 

​Government Denies Claims People Could Get Sacked If They Refuse Vaccine

Featured Image Credit: PA

The UK government has said people won't be fired if they refuse to get the coronavirus vaccine, saying it would be 'discriminatory' to force anyone to receive it.

As the vaccine rollout continues, there has been speculation about how vaccination may affect people's employability or job security - with Charlie Mullins, chairman of large London plumbing firm Pimlico Plumbers, recently saying he was considering operating a 'no vaccine, no job' policy for employees.

The Telegraph also reported that some cabinet ministers have been arguing in favour of a 'jab for a job' scheme.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

In December, law firm Pinsent Masons argued in a blog post: "Requiring employees to be vaccinated raises a number of issues which will need to be thought through before implementation.

"An instruction to take the vaccine could be regarded as a 'reasonable instruction' on the part of the employer, but that will depend on the circumstances."

However, the government has now said this won't be the case, as it is not mandatory for people to receive the vaccine, despite being strongly encouraged.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's official spokesman told a Westminster briefing yesterday (9 February): "Taking a vaccine is not mandatory and it would be discriminatory to force somebody to take one."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Over the weekend, the government also ruled out vaccine passports - a rumoured measure that would allow those who have been vaccinated to travel - as, again, this would be considered 'discriminatory'.

Nadhim Zahawi, Minister for Business and Industry and Covid Vaccine Deployment, confirmed that state-issued documentation is not being considered.

He explained that travellers will be able to obtain 'some form of proof' from their GP to present to border officials if countries insist on proof of vaccination as a condition of entry.

Asked by Sky News' Sophy Ridge if the government was considering the introduction of vaccine passports, Zahawi said: "No, we're not. One, we don't know the impact of the vaccines on transmission.

Vaccine deployment minister Nadhim Zahawi has also ruled out vaccine passports. Credit: PA
Vaccine deployment minister Nadhim Zahawi has also ruled out vaccine passports. Credit: PA

"Two, it would be discriminatory and I think the right thing to do is to make sure that people come forward to be vaccinated because they want to rather than it be made in some way mandatory through a passport.

"If other countries obviously require some form of proof, then you can ask your GP because your GP will hold your records and that will then be able to be used as your proof you've had the vaccine.

"But we are not planning to have a passport in the UK."

Topics: UK News, News, vaccine, Coronavirus

Jess Hardiman
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