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Jonathan Chamberlain, employment partner at law firm Gowling WLG, says employers should not force staff to take a Covid-19 vaccine, following Pimlico Plumbers’ move.

“This is not the way to go. For a start it doesn’t achieve anything: the Coronavirus restrictions apply regardless of vaccination status; it makes no difference to what an employee’s allowed to do if they’re vaccinated, so how can any private employer say their staff must be treated?

Employees can refuse and, if they get fired as a result, they’re likely to have strong claims against their employer, potentially some very expensive ones. As the law currently stands, not even the Government can insist the general public get vaccinated so the courts are unlikely to have much sympathy with a private employer who tries to force their staff to have the jab.”

Pimlico Plumbers will introduce a “no jab, no job” policy requiring all of its workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Charlie Mullins, Pimlico’s founder and former chief executive, now chairman, said the company’s lawyers were drafting new employment contracts for its 400-strong workforce to include the vaccine requirement.

Related: Pimlico Plumbers to introduce 'no jab, no job' work contracts

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