Can you force staff to have the covid vaccination?
Sarah Buxton considers the legal issues surrounding vaccination.
With the implementation of the covid vaccination and the news that dental practices and staff are being prioritised for it, employers may now wonder whether they can force their staff to have the covid vaccination.
As the current guidance and legislation stands, the vaccine is not compulsory. The Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 explicitly states that regulations cannot require a person to undertake medical treatment, which extends to vaccinations. The GDC has explicitly stated that it does not consider the vaccine mandatory at present.
In this case, the best way to ensure that staff members take the vaccine is by gaining their consent. Employers can encourage staff to take the vaccine through training on the benefits and being available to answer any questions or concerns. You may wish to discuss the vaccination with staff and understand why they do not wish to have it and consider whether you are able to dispel any concerns or rumours.