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Forcing an employee to have Covid vaccine is ‘discriminatory’, says No 10

Prime Minister Boris Johnson arriving for a media briefing in Downing Street - Credit: PA

Forcing an employee to have a coronavirus vaccine in order to keep their job would be “discriminatory”, Downing Street has said.

Some care home staff are reportedly refusing to have a Covid jab – with some providers said to be considering not hiring staff who have refused the vaccination on non-medical grounds.

And Charlie Mullins, founder of Pimlico Plumbers, said last month that his company will not take on anybody who has not been vaccinated.

The Telegraph reported that some ministers believe companies which adopt a “jab for a job” stance are protected by health and safety laws.

It quoted a government source as saying: “Health and safety laws say you have to protect other people at work, and when it becomes about protecting other people the argument gets stronger.”

But prime minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesman told a Westminster briefing: “Taking a vaccine is not mandatory and it would be discriminatory to force somebody to take one.”

The government has previously declined to say whether it is recording data on who has refused a coronavirus vaccine.

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