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Covid related employment tribunal cases

Posted on 5 November 2021

COVID-19 Vaccination clauses in offer letters and contracts of employment

Posted in Legal news

We are now seeing such clauses which require employees to confirm their vaccination status. Employers are entitled to include as a condition of employment or continued employment that candidates/employees are vaccinated and may be required to provide proof.

Vaccination status requirements at work

Employers may dismiss staff who provide false information on this and refuse to employ those who decline to provide proof or who are not vaccinated. It will be interesting to see if any claims are brought from existing employees with more than 2 years service who refuse to be vaccinated for whatever reason. 

Employers will argue that it is a reasonable and lawful request and that a refusal amounts to refusal to comply with a management instruction and therefore gross misconduct. New employees and candidates/job applicants cannot claim unfair dismissal and would have to rely on discrimination, citing a philosophical belief as the protected characteristic. Very interesting.

Employment tribunal has increase in covid related cases

We have now seen many covid related cases reported in the employment tribunal and these are just a sample of the type of cases which have been heard and decided in the last 6 months.

  • Raising concerns about COVID-19 safety measures at the start of the pandemic
  • Raising concerns about lack of PPE
  • Leaving workplace over concerns about infecting children
  • Requesting home working or furlough
  • Refusal to deliver equipment to self-isolating manager
  • Refusal to attend work
  • Refusal to wear a mask
  • Refusal to agree changes to employment contract
  • Deferring commission payments during furlough
  • Redundancy instead of furlough
  • Redundancy during furlough
  • Accrued holiday pay during furlough
  • Furlough without consent
  • Victimisation: failure to furlough employee on long-term sick leave
  • Sex and disability discrimination: requiring employees to use annual leave and accrued TOIL to cover COVID-related absences

Please contact us for more information about these cases. If you require a covid vaccination clause for your contracts of employment please call 0113 320 5000 or fill in the contact form today.

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