How do the coronavirus vaccines change HR practice? – Richard Fox quoted in HR Grapevine

16 February 2021

Government statistics show that more than 13 million people have had at least their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. For many individuals, as well as employers, the news of the vaccine rollout  likely provides a glimmer of hope, but HR professionals will be thinking about what this means for their function, people and the business they operate in.

Richard Fox partner in Employment considers how HR might manage employees who can’t or won’t have the vaccine in HR Grapevine.

Richard quoted:

Richard Fox, Partner at Kingsley Napley LLP said that HR needs to “proceed with caution”. This is because,  there are several ways that a staff member who is prejudiced against by not being able to have the coronavirus vaccine could look to bring a claim. For example, this could be on the basis that they have been discriminated against on the grounds of religion or belief, or because the worker is young and maybe lower down on the waiting list, or because of a disability which makes it more difficult to get the vaccine.

Fox said that in many of the above instances it will be a case of “carefully weighing up the needs of the employer’s business as against the prejudice caused to an employee by introducing a requirement to take the vaccine before they come back into work”.

The legal expert went on to explain that in all of these situations, consulting with staff may be key to ironing out any concerns and dealing with them before it is too late

The full article, published on the 11th February 2021, is available to read on HR Grapevine.


Should you have any queries regarding the issues raised in this blog please contact Richard or any member of  our employment team.



Richard acts for corporates, organisations and senior individuals in relation to employment matters of all kinds.  These include confidentiality and restrictive covenants, executive pay, bonus and severance arrangements, unfair dismissal, discrimination, whistleblowing and redundancy programmes.  He is frequently asked to advise in situations involving allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace following the rise of the #MeToo movement, and the cases that have followed.

Richard is a well-known commentator on employment law issues, appearing often in the Press (The Times, The Financial Times, People Management, HR Magazine, Personnel Today etc) and on TV/ Radio (BBC, ITV, Sky and Radio 4).


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