The short answer is no, unless the business is a Care Quality Commission registered care home in England. Here we set out the longer answer as advised by ACAS.
From 11th November 2021 anyone who works indoors in a CQC registered care home in England must be vaccinated, unless they are exempt. However, there is currently no other law that says people must have the vaccine, even if an employer would prefer someone to have it.
Where an employer would prefer staff to be vaccinated ACAS has suggested that they support staff to be vaccinated. This may include:
- Discussing the Government’s latest vaccine health information
- Providing paid time off for vaccination appointments
- Paying staff their usual rate of pay if they’re off sick with vaccine side effects, instead of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
- Not counting vaccine-related absences in absence records or towards any ‘trigger’ system the business may have
If someone does not want to be vaccinated, the employer should listen to their concerns, remembering that some people may have health reasons, for example they could have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. Employers should be sensitive towards personal situations and must keep any concerns confidential.
If an employer feels it’s important for staff to be vaccinated, they should talk together with staff or the organisation’s recognised trade union to discuss what steps to take. Any decision after that discussion should be put in writing, for example in a workplace policy. However, it is a good idea for the employer to seek legal advice before bringing in a vaccine policy.