UK plumber to bring in ‘no jab, no job’ policy for staff recruitment

Vaccine competition between corporations and the government is a danger

2DB29J9 Pimlico plumbers group service business vans outside home vehicle graphics advertising company care services for property maintenance work England UK
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A British plumber is planning a recruitment freeze on people who have not had a coronavirus vaccine.

Pimlico Plumbers, London’s largest independent plumbing company, plans to introduce a “no jab, no job” policy for its staff.

The company also revealed future plans to spend £1 million ($1.36m) vaccinating its staff. Currently, inoculations are offered only by the National Health Service and are reserved for priority groups.

Chief executive Charlie Mullins said he would pay for his workforce to be inoculated when the shot is offered privately.

He said the policy would be written into future employment contracts.

"No vaccine, no job ... when we go off to African and Caribbean countries, we have to have a jab for malaria – we don't think about it, we just do it," he told City AM.

“So why would we accept something within our country that’s going to kill us when we can have a vaccine to stop it?”

The policy could raise legal and ethical questions because it is not compulsory for Britons to be vaccinated.

Lawyers also suggested employees could claim unfair dismissal compensation if they were sacked for refusing to be vaccinated.

Pimlico Plumbers chief executive Charlie Mullins leaves the UK Supreme Court, Parliament Square, London, following the ruling in the case involving plumbers contracts, which is said will have 'huge ramifications' for the gig economy. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Pimlico Plumbers chief executive Charlie Mullins said the policy made sense. Getty Images

About three million people have been vaccinated against coronavirus in the UK so far. The government is aiming to vaccinate about 15 million people by mid-February – covering people aged 70 and over, people in care homes and healthcare workers.

It was reported on Tuesday that thousands of vaccinated Britons will be offered a digital “vaccine passport”.

The government previously denied it planned to introduce the scheme but £75,000 ($102,380) has now been set aside for a trial.

The passport would be used by people to prove they have been vaccinated.

Some ministers had expressed concern the scheme could be used by private companies, such as restaurants and bars, to deny entry to people who have not had the shot.