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  • 13 Sept 2021

    COVID 19 Vaccinations | Guidance for employers

    Since the start of Britain’s largest vaccination programme, more than 35 million people have been vaccinated within the UK and any adult that is 16 years of age and older is now able to have the COVID-19 vaccination.The government recently published the COVID-19 vaccination: guide for employers. The guide advises employers to support and encourage their workers to have the vaccine.Katie Bowen Nicholas, Employment Law Solicitor at Hegarty Solicitors summarises the key points within the guidance for employers.

    Why should employers support the COVID-19 vaccination programme?

    Within the guidance, the government states that vaccines are the best way to protect people from coronavirus and are also considered the best course of action in supporting the return to a more normal way of life which will encourage growth in the economy.Employers can benefit from supporting the COVID-19 vaccination programme in the following ways:
    • Lower the risk of employees catching and spreading the virus to others within the workplace.
    • Employers are also able to protect customers using the services they provide.
    • Employees return to the workplace sooner and more safely.

    How can employers support vaccination within the workplace?

    All employers within the UK are urged by the government to encourage their staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine. There are several ways employers can support vaccination within the workforce:
    • Circulating information on the facts regarding vaccination – The government has created the employers communication toolkit which includes materials that employers can use to begin conversations regarding vaccination with employees. Employers can also direct staff members to other trusted sources of information for important facts about vaccination. Additionally, employers could share articles or blog posts in internal communications such as newsletters and intranet platforms.
    • Encouraging senior leadership to show their support for vaccination – Senior staff members can show their support for the COVID-19 vaccine by sharing their vaccination experiences.
    • Using content from experts and community leaders – The employers communication toolkit contains links to videos and webinars from experts and community leaders that are promoting the vaccine. These links can be circulated to employees.
    • Informing employees on the ways the business will provide and facilitate vaccinations within the workplace – To further encourage workforce vaccination, employers should consider allowing employees to take time off during the day to get the COVID-19 vaccine. This is also an appropriate time for employers to review sick leave policies and procedures to ensure they do not disincentivise employees from getting vaccinated.
    For more information on Covid-19 vaccinations and the workplace or any other aspect of employment law, please contact Katie Bowen Nicholas on 01733 295 672 or email katie.bowennicholas@hegarty.co.uk

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