30th September 2020
Should Employers Require Workers To Get The Flu Vaccine?
Autumn is the time when employers and employees begin to worry that they are at risk of contracting the normal influenza infection.
Covid Employer protocols are likely to complicate things when employees develop symptoms similar to those of COVID-19, requiring isolation and testing. This is particularly concerning for those who are not in receipt of any sick pay from their employers, as inevitably they will suffer a loss.
SO, SHOULD EMPLOYERS BE REQUIRING EMPLOYEES TO GET THE VACCINE?
In the first instance, safe working procedures are an essential line of defence against infections. Employers fortunately should have in place Covid working Protocols which contain many measures to protect against cross infection. Regardless of this, this is a good time to carry out risk assessments again and ensure working practices are adequately controlled and safe. This will help to provide maximum protection against influenza.
Other steps might include, issuing health awareness leaflets and information to employees, encouraging healthy habits to help prevent the contraction of the normal influenza and making staff aware of the vaccination.
Employers cannot force workers to avail of a vaccination, however they can offer to pay for the vaccination where a person is not eligible for a free one.
In doing so, make sure sufficient information is provided to employees in relation to the benefits and drawbacks of any vaccination and the employee should be asked to sign a document accepting that the Company is not liable should the vaccination be ineffective or they suffer any side effects.
At the end of the day it is a personal choice for every person, but in these strange times, employers need to start thinking about their strategy when it comes to minimising the potential effect of the normal influenza and the damage that any related absences will have in the weeks and months ahead.