‘Can I force my employees to have the vaccine?’ - Sheffield lawyer answers awkward Covid questions
‘What do I do if an employee wants to continue working from home?’ and ‘How should I make people redundant?’
These are just a few of the questions a Sheffield employment law firm has handled as bosses attempt to live with Covid (see answers below).
Bhayani HR & Employment Law has helped hundreds of businesses over the last year – much of it free - and has been awarded a UK Business Hero accolade from the British Chambers of Commerce in recognition of its work.
Now it is organising free virtual workshops in March and April to keep up with demand for answers to all those awkward questions.
Boss Jay Bhayani said: “We have been inundated with enquiries, which is completely understandable at this very difficult time.
“It’s really important for companies to start thinking about how they will re-engage furloughed staff, what sort of workforce they need going forward, plan redundancies where necessary and think about all the awkward questions including whether they can force employees to have the vaccine.
“We want to roll these free workshops out every two weeks with a maximum 20 people so that they can be interactive and really practical.”
The firm also says sales of ‘Watertight’, its fixed-fee HR and employment service, have grown 93 per cent in the last year.
To access the free virtual workshops - ‘HR and employment law in the COVID world’ - call 0114 303 2300 or email [email protected] or visit www.bhayanilaw.co.uk
Answers to awkward questions:
Can I force my employees to have the vaccine?
You cannot force employees to have the vaccine, but you may be able to take action against an employee who unreasonably refuses. In determining that, you should consider a risk assessment to determine the risk an unvaccinated employee would pose to clients, customers and colleagues.
This will be heavily influenced by the sector you work in. You also need to consider why the employee is refusing as the reason may be medical or covered by discrimination legislation.
You can encourage all employees to be vaccinated by providing the most up-to-date and reliable information on the vaccine and you may want to consider offering paid time off for vaccine appointments.
If you are planning to take action against an employee whom you believe is unreasonably refusing the vaccine, you should obtain legal advice first.