No jab, no job?

Posted Thursday 18th February 2021

The idea of mandatory Covid vaccines for employees (‘no jab no job’) is attractive for employers.

What if an employee or job applicant has a genuine philosophical or political belief that means they are not prepared to have the vaccine?

This might be a satisfactory reason for an employer to not employ somebody on that basis but there is nevertheless a potential risk. Philosophical beliefs are a protected characteristic under the Equality Act.

If it is a genuine philosophical belief held by a job applicant or employee then refusal to employ someone or a dismissal because of this belief could amount to direct discrimination.

What is one person’s philosophical belief may be a conspiracy theory to somebody else. The dividing line can be surprisingly thin.

For advice on employment issues, please contact Jennifer Maxwell-Harris or Reema Jethwa.

This article is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any action.

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