Half of UK managers support compulsory Covid vaccines for office work

More than half of managers in the UK want to be allowed to make coronavirus vaccinations mandatory for returning staff, according to investigation that adds pressure on government to support ‘jabs for jobs’ To help speed up the reopening of the defeated British. economy.

Nearly half also said that access to offices should be restricted for those who have refused to be vaccinated for non-medical reasons, according to the national survey conducted by the Chartered Management Institute of more than 1,000 managers.

Three-fifths of managers have already decided to make testing available to their employees when they are allowed to return to work – a fifth saying it will become mandatory to return to work.

Ann Francke, CEO of CMI, said: “Managers have shown a significant level of support for mass tests and vaccinations. And widespread adoption would allow a quick and safe return to work. “

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, admitted the issue raises serious “philosophical and ethical” concerns and ordered a review by Michael Gove, the Cabinet Minister.

Gove kicked off the consultation on Monday – inviting interested parties to respond on how Covid-19 certification might work through the use of test or vaccination data. The exam will cover the ethical, equality, confidentiality, legal and operational aspects of a certification program.

Video: Covid-19 and the vaccine business

Lawyers warn that it would be difficult for companies to insist on mandatory vaccinations under current workplace legislation, given the risk of discrimination against workers who cannot or will not. vaccinated.

As a result, Downing Street would prefer a system in which companies let staff or customers choose to show proof of recent vaccinations or tests. Businesses can get free workplace coronavirus tests as part of a government program.

In the CMI survey, more than half agreed that the role of the manager was to encourage employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19. The same number were concerned about the potential conflict between staff reluctant to get vaccinated and workers who do not feel safe working with such people.

The Trade Union Congress has said it is encouraging workers to get vaccinated. Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, said that workplace testing “can play a key role in our public health effort. . . but employers should not introduce testing until they can ensure that their entire workforce has access to decent sickness benefit ”.

The CMI survey also showed that the pandemic will have a lasting impact on the way companies use their offices, with only a fifth of bosses saying they want employees to return to the workplace five days a week.

Many companies are already implementing hybrid work policies starting from the lifting of restrictions in the summer, mixing up office and home time. Most organizations have found that staff worked effectively from home during the pandemic, and many workers want to retain some of that flexibility.

Almost half of managers said their organization would likely reduce office space in their head office as a result.

But the survey showed a distribution across firm sizes, with larger firms showing a greater willingness to embrace flexible working, while SMEs were more likely to say workers would return often or all of the time.

The government has asked companies to keep workers at home if possible, although there are exemptions for those who must be in the office for essential work or personal reasons.

About 15 percent of managers whose staff worked from home said employees would continue to work mostly or entirely remotely in the future.

Francke said: “With thousands of businesses operating successfully remotely over the past year, there should be no reason why permanent flexible work opportunities should not be available wherever possible. “

The Chancellor this month revealed her intention to increase corporate tax from 19% to 25% for large businesses from 2023.

According to the CMI poll, almost half of executives believe that increasing corporate taxes would have a negative impact both on their business and on the UK as a whole. Almost 40 percent said foreign investment would decline as a result of the tax hike.

More than half of managers surveyed believe the end of the Brexit transition period has had a negative impact, citing import bureaucracy (60%), export bureaucracy (54%), sales of goods and services (56%) and relations with suppliers in the EU (53%) are the cause.

Jose C. Birney