Does freedom of choice have consequences?

A flurry of high-profile employers have announced they’ll give less sick pay to staff that choose not to be vaccinated. So should more follow suit?

by Peter Crush
Anti-vaxxers

By whatever yardstick is used, Britain’s Covid-19 vaccination effort has been nothing short of phenomenal. Data suggests jabs in Britons’ arms have saved more than 157,000 lives; have almost certainly prevented a major economic catastrophe; and have maintained at least some semblance of personal freedom.

And yet for all the highs, there is one stubborn statistic that spoils the party – the fact there’s a sizeable cohort that simply haven’t rolled up their sleeve – not even once. In mid-December 2021, it was estimated 24% of working age 18-29 year olds (or 2.4 million people) were still unvaccinated; and that’s without looking at the over 30s.

For employers this is a big deal. They want staff back; but one of the biggest fears employees have is mixing with those that haven’t had a vaccine. More than half (57%) of UK employees who attend or expect to return to a physical workplace said they were worried about sharing space with people who are not vaccinated according to research by Infogrid.

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