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Our Employment team are seeing an increase in the number of well-known employers aiming to nudge unvaccinated employees into taking the COVID-19 vaccine by reducing benefits such as enhanced sick pay.

Obviously, any steps like this need to ensure there’s no discrimination against those staff who receive medical advice not to be vaccinated.

If you’re considering making vaccination mandatory for your employees you need to think carefully about how you communicate that to them and consult with them before you bring in that policy. This will help you establish the reasonableness of your approach.

Broadly speaking your options are to issue an instruction that failing to be vaccinated could lead to dismissal.

Alternatively, you could insert a new term in the employment contract. Failure to agree a new term could lead to the dismissal of the employee but this is very much a last resort. Any tribunal would expect you to have looked at alternatives such as working from home or redeployment.

Each employer will have their own individual circumstances to consider before they take that approach and if you need any guidance on the process or the potential issues please contact our Employment team, either by emailing us at or calling us on 01484 821 500.