Ross Clark Ross Clark

A ‘no jab, no job’ policy would be a disaster

(Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Now that the government has announced that it will be compulsory to present a vaccine passport to enter a nightclub or other large venue from September, is it moving towards making double vaccination compulsory in the workplace too? 

Yesterday foreign secretary Dominic Raab said that it would be ‘smart policy’ for companies to insist that employees working in the office are double-vaccinated. This morning, transport secretary Grant Shapps denied that the government had any plans to pass legislation to make vaccination compulsory among employees but described it as a ‘good idea’ if companies required it. 

The government’s position, then, appears to be: we are not going to make it compulsory, but we are strongly encouraging businesses to ensure their staff are fully vaccinated. That is the position the government held with nightclubs before announcing that they would be legally required to ensure their customers are double-vaccinated.

If the government wants even more of us to be double vaccinated, it should be addressing genuine concerns over side effects

Give it a week or so, then, and don’t be surprised if vaccination passports become compulsory at work. The question is this: why does the government need to use a stick when the carrot has been so successful? As of 29 July, 68.8 per cent of the population has received at least one shot and 55.7 per cent are fully vaccinated (this is a percentage of the whole population, including children who have not yet been offered a jab and maybe never will). We can no longer claim to be the largest country with the highest vaccination rate: Canada has now overtaken us, as has Spain (but only marginally) when it comes to the total vaccines given, but we are very nearly at the top.

Moreover, we are approaching full rates of vaccination among older age groups: 94.1

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