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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75142
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have just been given a letter stating that i have to have

Customer Question

i have just been given a letter stating that i have to have the covid jab or terminate my employment i dont know my rights on this issue
JA: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: liverpool england
JA: What steps have been taken so far?
Customer: a letter saying i have two week to discus with owners and no job after 11 november
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: i have worked there for 25 years and all the way through the pandemic now its eased off i cant be employed by them
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

What is the nature of the work you do?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Hello, I was wondering if you have had a chance to consider my query above please? I will need your response before I provide an accurate answer to your situation. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Without the requested information, I can only provide you with general information, which hopefully will still be useful to you. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

As you can appreciate, this is all relatively new, especially from a legal perspective, so things can change in time, especially once challenges start being brought in through the courts. However, as it currently stands, the position is as follows:

No one can force an employee to get vaccinated so the physical aspect of getting vaccinated is something that will always depend on them personally and be their choice. However, a refusal to get vaccinated can have further repercussions in their job, for example if the employer has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy.

Whether the employer can then take any formal action against an employee who refuses to get vaccinated will depend on various points. The starting point is that is that the employer can decide whether to only employ vaccinated staff or not and can potentially look at taking formal action against those who don’t. However, how easy that would be will depend on certain factors, such as:

How long the employee has worked there for – those with less than 2 years’ service will not have unfair dismissal protection so they can potentially be dismissed for refusing to get vaccinated, unless they are exempt due to a protected characteristic (see below)

What are the reasons for their refusal to get vaccinated – there are a few limited grounds, based on what are known as protected characteristics, which may allow an employee to refuse vaccination without being penalised for it. It includes things like having a disability, which can be affected by the vaccine, or a religious belief which prevents that.

How critical to the role is it that the employee is vaccinated – an office-based job, where there are no specific identifiable vulnerable groups of people, may find it more difficult to justify mandatory vaccination. On the other hand, care jobs, where the workers are constantly facing vulnerable people, will be much easier to justify due to the critical nature of the work and how seriously an outbreak can affect them.

As you can see, it is a complex and fast-changing area of law and the consensus is that employers can indeed make vaccinations mandatory and can potentially dismiss certain employees who do not comply, however if they have been there for more than 2 years or have a protected characteristic which prevents them from being vaccinated, it may make a dismissal more difficult to justify.

Please see here for a much more detailed discussion and guidance on this subject:

https://www.lewissilkin.com/en/insights/coronavirus-vaccination-faqs-for-employers

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

Hello, following my main response above, I just wanted to check that everything was clear. If you have any further queries about this issue, you can reply to me at any time on this portal and I will be happy to help. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 18 days ago.

Hello, I trust that everything has now been resolved to your satisfaction and your original question has been dealt with. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.