What data can employers ask for on vaccination status

With the UK now starting to return to normal, many employers are hoping to keep restrictions at bay and ensure extra health and safety measures are in place. The NHS is currently offering the Covid-19 vaccine free to all adults with those most at risk being priority. As an employer it’s important to support staff through this changing time and in making the decision to have the vaccine.

There isn’t currently a law stating that all employees must have the vaccine and if this isn’t stated in the employees’ contract then you cannot enforce it. As an employer you must always think of the discrimination law and how enforcing the vaccine could leave you with a court case on your hands. This is because some people for medical reasons cannot have the Covid-19 vaccination and we need to consider this and instead always enforce working safety guidelines and shielding guidelines – These can be found on the ACAS website.

When it comes to Covid-19, employers need to be careful when asking what their employees vaccination status is. It can be a sensitive subject and one which needs a reason for asking. You must comply with GDPR rules especially when dealing with such sensitive information.

When you are considering asking an employee of their vaccination status you need to ask yourself why you are asking for this data? Is it because of the industry you work in? Carrying out a health and safety assessment will help you to make the decision as to if it is necessary to ask an employee for their vaccination status. Health and care industries must consider this in particular.

Once you have thought about if there is a less intrusive way of asking for an employees vaccination status and if you have a lawful reason for asking for this data, then you must consider the possibility of discrimination within the workplace. You cannot be seen to not give sick pay to those who are not covid-19 vaccinated. In addition to this, you must not favour candidates when recruiting over their vaccination status.

So can you ask an employee for their vaccination status? At this current moment you cannot just ask without carefully thinking as to why you are asking and if there could be any implications as a result of asking. There is talk of the government requiring proof of vaccine for certain activities, however this hasn’t come into play as of November 2021.

Should you require any help or advice when it comes to asking your employees on their vaccination status, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

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