‘No Jab, No Job’: Can Healthcare Staff be Coerced Into Getting Vaccinated?

We’re publishing an original piece today by Dr Niall McCrae, a mental health practitioner and trade union rep, about what health care workers can do to resist if they’re told by their employers that they have to have a Covid vaccine as a condition of continuing to be employed. He says there are three areas in which they can push back: proportionality, safety and equity. Here’s an extract from the section on equity:

The employer should not engage in discriminatory practice. If a vaccine requirement is introduced, the first task of the worker is to check her employment contract: does it give the employer the right to impose medical interventions on staff? For any change of contract, both parties would need to agree and sign. If summoned to a meeting, the worker should ask the manager to confirm the employer’s position:

* If an employee has a legitimate reason to refuse the vaccine, will this be accepted?
* If the employer demands that an employee takes the vaccine against her will, under threat of dismissal, would that be coercion (and breach of contract)?

The employer/manager may believe that vaccines can be mandated, but this is not necessarily so. While the Government is considering changing the law to enable employers to insist on vaccination of care staff working with vulnerable people, under current legislation this could be deemed unlawful. Compulsion could be experienced as intrusive or bullying. Also, it is arguably discriminatory in terms of sex and race, as women and workers of black/minority ethnicity are disproportionately affected by mandatory vaccination policies.

Worth reading in full.

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