A new survey from the conciliation service, Acas, has found that more than one in five employers plan to implement a “no jab, no job” policy in the year ahead for both new and existing staff. Over half, however, said that they would not be implementing such a policy.

There is currently no law in England, Scotland or Wales whereby employees must have the vaccine to protect against coronavirus (COVID-19), even if they work in certain occupations. Indeed, a previous requirement applying to care homes, health workers and social care staff was reversed by the government earlier this year.

The advice from Acas is that employers should talk to staff, or the organisation’s recognised trade union, rather than force employees into getting the vaccine by threats of dismissal. This would allow employers to come to an agreement about a vaccine policy that suits both staff and the organisation, while maintaining good working relationships.

At a practical level, Acas suggests that employers could support their staff by paying them their usual rate of pay if they are off sick with vaccine side-effects instead of offering statutory sick pay. It also suggests that they consider offering staff paid time off for vaccination appointments.

If someone does not want to be vaccinated, then Acas advises employers to listen to their concerns, showing sensitivity about employees’ personal situations. For instance, some people may have specific health reasons such as an allergic reaction for not wanting to be vaccinated. They must also be careful to avoid discriminating against staff who decline a vaccination.

Acas commissioned YouGov to ask British businesses about whether they plan to make it a requirement for staff to be vaccinated against coronavirus (COVID-19) as a condition of employment. The survey was carried out online and the total sample size was 1,074 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 28 March and 5 April 2022.

To read the results in more detail, click here.