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Can an Employer legally require their staff to get the COVID-19 Vaccine?


Following the Prime Minister’s recent comment that the government soon hopes to be able to run the coronavirus vaccination programme 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, many employers will be considering the implications of the roll-out for their staff, their business and a potential return to the physical workplace.

A novel question that many employers may be battling with is whether they can legally require their staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine (particularly if the vaccine becomes available to the private sector in the future). In this CM Murray podcast, Elizabeth McEneny, Sarah Chilton and Wonu Sanda discuss this and more, including:

  • the historical legal background to mandatory vaccinations in the UK;
  • the impact of the employer’s Health and Safety obligations on mandating a compulsory vaccination policy;
  • whether an employer can require vaccination as a reasonable instruction or introduce it as a contractual requirement;
  • the discrimination risks that an employer may need to consider;
  • the human rights and data protection considerations; and
  • the possibility of potential personal injury claims.

This podcast accompanies our recent news alert on the topic – we hope you enjoy listening!

If you would like any further information about the issues discussed in this podcast, please contact Elizabeth McEneny, Sarah Chilton and Wonu Sanda.