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

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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