More than one in five companies are planning a ‘no Covid jab, no job’ policy according to new research.
A survey by Acas created headlines when it found 22% of employers planned to introduce a mandatory vaccine policy in the next year.
But what’s the position among the largest employers in Tayside and Fife?
We went to 40 companies and organisations who together employ tens of thousands of workers throughout Dundee, Angus, Perthshire and Fife.
We asked if they currently have a mandatory vaccine policy and also if they plan to introduce a ‘no jab, no job’ rule for existing and new staff.
Here’s what they said.
No current mandatory vaccine rules and no plans for ‘no jab, no job’ for new or existing staff.
No plans for a ‘no jab, no job’ policy.
No mandatory vaccine rules.
The supermarket giant said: “We support the government’s Living with Covid plan and we will of course review our policies if official guidance changes.”
The Perth-based insurance firm said: “Simple answer to this one, we are not making vaccination a condition of entry to our offices.”
No response to whether there are current mandatory vaccine rules or plans.
The major Fife employer said: “Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Babcock has operated in accordance with the Government guidance and will continue to do so moving forward.”
“We don’t have a mandatory Covid vaccine policy and have no plans to implement one.”
Balhousie Care Group
No mandatory vaccine rules for existing staff but Balhousie DID introduce a mandatory vaccine stance for new staff last year.
Balhousie said: “For new staff, employment is conditional on agreement to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
“While we understand that not all applicants may have received their vaccine pre-employment, we require a commitment to getting the vaccine as soon as is practicably possible.
“We understand there may be valid health reasons why individuals feel they cannot be vaccinated, and these will be considered at the recruitment stage.”
There is no current mandatory vaccine rules or plans for BT, which is making a multi-million-pound investment in a new Dundee office.
BT said: “We’ll continue to follow any public health guidance as you’d expect.”
No mandatory vaccine rules or plans at the Blairgowrie business.
The firm said: “We would encourage staff to get a vaccine, particularly as we are returning to the office, but it remains a personal choice that we would respect.”
The resort has no intention to insist staff have the vaccine.
Owner Stephen Leckie said: “It’s better to persuade.”
“Throughout the pandemic, we have consistently adhered to the guidelines set out by the Scottish Government and will continue to take their lead on the journey ahead.
“There are no plans for mandatory vaccines within any area of the college.”
“We do not have a mandatory vaccine policy.”
It’s a case of vaccine encouragement, instead of rules at the drinks giant which has 1,000 staff in Fife.
The firm said: “We fully respect that everyone will have made their own informed decisions about Covid-related medical treatment, based on their personal circumstances.
“We have strongly encouraged all our employees to take up their local vaccination programme, but do not mandate this.”
Dundee City Council
The local authority did not confirm its current vaccine rules but commented: “We are currently following the national Scottish Government guidance and vaccination advice.”
Sharon McKenzie, Head of HR, said: “We don’t have a mandatory Covid vaccine policy and have no plans to implement one for either new or existing staff.
“In accordance with public health advice we recommend that all staff take up invitations to get vaccinated and we provide paid time off for them to attend vaccination appointments.”
“The safety and wellbeing of our team and guests is our top priority.
“We don’t currently have a mandatory Covid vaccine policy in place.
“However, we will continue to work closely with relevant health authorities, to provide the safest possible environment for everyone who comes to Gleneagles and ensure our practices and procedures are in line with the latest guidance.”
The care home group introduced a mandatory vaccine policy for all staff last year.
It said: “We announced last year that the Covid-19 vaccine will be a condition of employment for all HC-One employees.
“This was the responsible step for us to take to protect the people we care for, as well as our colleagues, as the evidence clearly shows that vaccination cuts transmission and substantially reduces the risk of hospitalisation.”
No current mandatory vaccine rules or plans.
“While healthcare staff in Fife are very much encouraged to take up the offer of Covid-19 vaccination, it is not mandatory.”
The health board said our enquiry should be directed to the Scottish Government as the “NHS has national terms and conditions and this wouldn’t be a local decision”.
A Scottish Government spokesperson confirmed there are no current mandatory vaccine rules or plans.
He said: “While we strongly recommend that individuals get vaccinated, it is not mandatory and remains a personal choice whether to do so.
“We will continue to work together and engage with health boards across Scotland to further encourage acceptance of the vaccination offer.”
“We do not have a mandatory Covid vaccine policy at OVO, nor are we planning to implement one at this time.”
Perth and Kinross Council
“We continue to follow national guidance from the Scottish Government and as such we have no plans to introduce mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations to our staff.
“We have mitigations in place for front facing and direct personal care service delivery roles and we continue to apply public health messaging and promote Covid awareness and safety measures.”
The supermarket giant said it has “no set policy” for vaccines.
No mandatory vaccine rules or plans for the Perth energy giant.
SSE said: “We would agree with Acas’ advice that ‘it is best to support staff to get the Covid-19 vaccine’ rather than requiring them to get it.”
“We do not have any mandatory vaccine policy for our employees and we have no plans to do so.”
The Dundee-headquartered law firm said: “We have no plans to introduce mandatory Covid vaccinations.
“Like the flu jab, which is available annually to those at risk, we would anticipate that our people make decisions based on individual need and follow Government advice.”
University of Dundee
“We have said we will follow Government guidelines on vaccinations, so have been encouraging all to get their jabs but it is not a mandatory requirement.”
University of St Andrews
No current mandatory vaccine rules or plans.
No jab, no job – who didn’t answer our questions?
The following firms were asked for their current mandatory vaccine position and intentions but did not answer or declined to answer.
- CJ Lang
- Donaldson Group
- Dover Fueling Solutions
- Fife College
- Highland Spring
- Mowi Scotland
No jab, no job guidance
Acas said its advice was that it is best to support staff to get the vaccine, rather than requiring them to get it.
The conciliation service said: “There are some practical ways that employers could support staff, such as paying them their usual rate of pay if they are off sick with vaccine side effects instead of statutory sick pay.
“Employers could also consider offering staff paid time off for vaccination appointments.
“If someone does not want to be vaccinated, then the employer should listen to their concerns.
“Some people may have health reasons, such as an allergic reaction to the vaccine, and some employees may have other reasons for not wanting to be vaccinated.”