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Posted: 25th May 2021
We have a frontline staff member refusing to have the Covid vaccination as they are concerned about the long-term effects of the vaccination. In our policy, we encourage them to have the jab but are not saying that it is mandatory.
The frontline staff member does face to face meetings with the public. If the customer contracts Covid as a result of a face to face (suspected or confirmed) meeting with our unvaccinated staff member (we are doing socially distanced meetings with PPE, etc), have we neglected our duty of care to the customer? Should we allow this person to carry out face to face meetings? Has anyone come across this with their employees?
Not sure its been determined that having the vaccine means that there’s less chance of transmission. My understanding is that even if vaccinated transmission can still occur?
Hi – There is increasing evidence that the vaccine does reduce transmission – In April, Public Health England reported the results of a large study of COVID-19 transmission involving more than 365,000 households with a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated members.
It found immunisation with either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine reduced the chance of onward virus transmission by 40-60%. This means that if someone became infected after being vaccinated, they were only around half as likely to pass their infection on to others compared to infected people who weren’t vaccinated.
However with the government themselves saying that it was lockdown rather than the vaccination programme that led to the reduction in cases in the UK, then I think you would have a difficult time following through with any legal action. If the person wears adequate PPE and maintains social distancing (which, let’s face it, we were telling them was safe following risk assessment during the pandemic) then I think they would have a strong case for arguing they are following safe practice – your responsibility is to have very clear policies on your expectations around risk assessment and following safe practice and making sure it is happening in practice. But, I imagine this one will be one to watch for some time to come.
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