HR calls for clarity on COVID vaccinations - Niki Southern quoted in HR Magazine

22 December 2020

Niki Southern, Partner in our Employment Law team, was quoted in HR Magazine  discussing "HR calls for clarity on COVID vaccinations" and in Wired Magazine discussing "The Covid-19 vaccines will usher the dawn of the true hybrid office”. 

Niki’s comments:

"This guidance is not applicable here and the position is not the same. The UK government has not legislated for vaccination against COVID-19 to be mandatory so it is likely to be risky for employers to insist on vaccination even for staff in close contact with vulnerable people.” 

 HR Magazine

Southern advised employers that the best course of action would be to "consider how to achieve voluntary vaccination from their workforce."

HR Magazine

“Companies should tread carefully, some employees will not get vaccinated for religious, philosophical or health reasons, so companies could face discrimination claims”


“age discrimination claims could be on the cards”


“Legally right now the UK government can’t make vaccination mandatory – and it has said it wouldn’t do so anyway – so employers who tried would be on very thin ice.”


 “Companies could face human rights challenges as well as potential liability if employees suffer side-effects as a result of being forced to vaccinate,” 


“encouragement rather than compulsion is advised”. 


You can read the full article from Wired here:  The Covid-19 vaccines will usher the dawn of the true hybrid office 

Further Information

If you would like any further information or advice about this, please contact Niki or any member of our employment law team.


About The Author

Niki often acts in complex cases requiring her to navigate overlapping issues such as equal pay, discrimination, harassment, sickness absence, performance and misconduct.

She has particular experience of representing employers and employees in the higher education, retail, media, professional and financial sectors. 


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