While having a flu jab is nothing new and so many employers already encourage and even organise for their staff to have the vaccination, the COVID-19 vaccination is a new concept and now is the time to start ensuring there are clear lines of communication between employers and employees.
It is really important the employers have a clear understanding about the vaccine and that you are able to inform your staff what it means for the workplace. While many people will see this as the answer to controlling the virus and allowing life to 'return to normal', there are also people who are uncertain (and possibly fearful) about the vaccine. Especially for pregnant women or those with who are immunocompromised. Employers need to be mindful of how they frame the conversation with their staff.
The government has issued new advice to employers and are encouraging them to help their staff get vaccinated, however it is important that some people may choose not to have (or are unable to) have the vaccine - this is their right to do so!
The guidance the government has issued states that employees do not have to disclose if they have been vaccinated or not (nor the reason why). Employers must also be aware that they need to protect this information and it cannot be shared without the employee's consent.
This will raise a lot more questions than answers at this stage and it does make us think about the Health and Safety and the review those policies may need.