Employment Webinar – Vaccine or vacancy, in the office or out of work?

Posted: May 25, 2021

Are you prepared for the end of lockdown?

Wednesday 14 July 2021 1pm

At the time of writing, the Government’s intention is that all restrictions on social contact should end on 21 June 2021.  When this happens, all business premises (including large events and performances) will reopen and lockdown as we currently know it will be over.

However, a return to normality may still be some way off.  The Government’s strategy is predicated on vaccinating as much of the population as possible, however, a large minority, for various reasons are refusing (or are unable) to take up the vaccine.

Employers have a duty to take reasonable care of its employees’ health and safety and may not want unvaccinated employees back in the workplace.  Other employees may not feel comfortable sharing an office space with an unvaccinated colleague.  However, implementing a policy of ‘vaccine or vacancy’ comes with serious risk for employers and a blanket policy of insisting on vaccination is almost certainly discriminatory.  

Finally, while most of us will be looking forward to end of the lockdown, not all employees will be as excited about a return to the office (or the commute).  Lockdown has forced employers to adapt, and many employees have worked from home effectively and see no reason to return full time to the office.  Homeworking can no longer be dismissed as completely impractical or ‘shirking from home’ when it has worked successfully for over a year.  

Nevertheless, while homeworking has been a success for some, other businesses will be seeking to turn back the clock to pre-lockdown days.  However, even if there is a good business reason, forcing employees back to the office will not necessarily be that easy and comes with risk. 

This webinar is aimed at in-house legal teams, HR professionals and managers preparing for the end of lockdown.  It aims to highlight the risks as we return to the workplace and suggest solutions where possible.

This webinar will be given by members of our employment team.  We will also be joined by a HR consultant as a guest speaker.

If you would like to submit a question in advance, please submit these to events@simkins.com and there will be an opportunity to ask questions during the webinar.

Click here to register