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COVID-19 Vaccination: Guide for Employers

This guidance has been updated by the CIPD; it includes advice on managing vaccinated employees. It suggests that employers should encourage staff to be vaccinated and publicise the benefits to improve take up of the vaccine when individuals are offered it through the NHS.

As COVID-19 vaccination and boosters extend throughout the UK, employers must incorporate plans on the implications for their staff, visitors and workplace as a whole, covering: communication to encourage take up and boosters; risk assessment; and vaccine policy. Employers will also need to consider their contractual terms and data protection, disciplinary, grievance and dismissal policies. The key points to consider are outlined below.

The CIPD suggests that the 'wisest' approach for employers to begin planning for the wider rollout of the vaccine is to encourage staff to be vaccinated and publicise the benefits to improve take up of the vaccine when offered through the NHS. Engagement by organisations through good communication will help employees make informed decisions regarding their vaccination. Explaining and encouraging employees with impartial, factual information will keep them informed about the workplace impact and risks of COVID-19.

It is advisable to retain copies of any communications employers have produced to encourage vaccination, in case any pro-vaccine employees complain that the employer has taken inadequate steps to comply with their health and safety duties.

If an employee voices concerns about being vaccinated, the CIPD suggests that individual discussions with a trusted staff member may help to allay fears and obtain their consent but employees should not be unduly pressurised into agreeing.

The guidance goes on to cover:

  • Adopting a vaccination policy.

  • Risk assessment.

  • Planning for different groups of employees.

  • Options if staff refuse vaccination.

  • Making vaccination mandatory.

The full document is available here.

CIPD September 2021

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