UK employers step up demand for workers vaccinated against Covid

According to an analysis of recruitment adverts, employers in the UK are following in the footsteps of their counterparts in the US by increasing demands for staff to bevaccinated against Covid-19.

Between August and October, the number of ads explicitly requiring candidates to be vaccine free rose by 189%, according to figures from the jobs website Adzuna.

The number of ads requiring vaccinations increased from 805 in August to 2,161 in September and 2,324 in October.

The outsourcing firm G4S has multiple vacancies where jabs are required, including a school cleaner in London, an administrator in Essex, and a healthcare assistant in Bridgend. G4S said that it was not its own policy to require vaccinations, but that of the employers it was contracted to.

The sectors with the highest proportion of job adverts requiring vaccinations are in social care, healthcare and nursing, and charity jobs. Domestic help and cleaning jobs are also included.

Health service workers in England will need to bevaccinated by April next year or they will be fired, according to Sajid Javid. Care home workers in England have to bevaccinated by 11 November. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland there are no mandatory vaccinations.

The government expects up to 70,000 care home staff to leave because of policies that do not allow jabs or jobs. Civil liberty advocates have warned against mandatory vaccinations, instead urging ministers to educate people about vaccines and help them make informed consent.

Andrew Hunter said the figures could show the start of a wider trend in Britain. He said that large corporations are putting a stake in the ground and saying that you have to be vaccine by a certain date.

He said that the UK was following in the footsteps of firms in the US and Canada, but that it was not yet apparent in other European countries.

The number of job ads asking for vaccinations has been growing as the year goes on, but it was earlier this year.

The development comes as more and more US companies request that their staff be double-jabbed in order to keep up with vaccinations.

The White House announced this month that businesses with 100 or more workers would need to be vaccine free by January 4th or face weekly tests, although the rule has faced legal challenges and opposition in some states.

Some large US companies, including Facebook, Goldman Sachs and Google, have announced that they would require workers returning to their US offices to be vaccinations against Covid.

Citigroup told its US staff to either get the Covid vaccine or be fired.

Adzuna said that the proportion of US job adverts requiring a vaccine had risen to 0.9% by October, with about 69,000 positions on its website out of a total 7.9m vacancies.

Employers in the US are offering vaccine bonuses as incentives, as seen by the jobs website, which is tracked by the Office for National Statistics. The British figures do not currently have these trends.

Employers who support their staff to get vaccinations will need to consider how this fits with their legal obligations under employment, equalities and data protection law.