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Companies begin drafting ‘no jab, no job’ contracts to force staff to get Covid vaccinations

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Companies have begun drafting ‘no jab, no job’ contracts to force staff to get Covid-19 vaccinations – despite lawyers warning they likely to be challenged in court –  while ministers push for a certificate scheme to reopen cinemas and clubs.

Bosses in the care home sector as well as large international groups including an energy firm are making ‘risky’ arrangements by insisting staff must be jabbed , top lawyers warned.

The move could mean both prospective and current employees would need to have the coronavirus vaccine to work at an organisation.

Asked about businesses who introduce a scheme, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said it was ‘up to them’.

The Government has so far said it has no plans to introduce a passport scheme, with Mr Zahawi previously describing their use as ‘wrong’ and ‘discriminatory’.

It comes as senior ministers have reportedly urged Boris Johnson to consider vaccination certificates in order to get entertainment venues reopened. 

Bosses in the care home sector as well as large international groups including an energy firm are making arrangements, top lawyers warned (file photo)

Bosses in the care home sector as well as large international groups including an energy firm are making arrangements, top lawyers warned (file photo)

Barchester Healthcare, based in London and with more than 200 care homes, said applicants refusing to have a jab without medical reasons would not be hired.

Pimlico Plumbers also said it would have a ‘no jab, no job’ attitude towards new workers, the FT reports.

The newspaper spoke to law firms – which refused to be named – which said some companies were already looking at getting current employees vaccinated.

A lawyer in the City of London said putting clauses in contracts to force people to be jabbed was risky but easier to defend in the care sector to protect patients.

Another said some multinational companies – such as a large energy firm – are considering the idea.

Mr Zahawi said yesterday that the Government was ‘not planning a domestic passport’.

Staff will still be told not to return to their offices even as infections fall and Covid-19 restrictions are lifted

Office staff are set to be told to keep working from home even as other lockdown restrictions are eased, the Daily Mail can reveal.

Boris Johnson is not expected to give a firm date for when workers will return to their desks as he unveils his plans for a return to normality on Monday.

It means the ‘work from home if you can’ message will continue to guide employers for the foreseeable future.

But ahead of any return, companies are reportedly drafting ‘no jab, no job’ contracts to force staff to get Covid-19 vaccinations.

Bosses in the care home sector as well as large international groups including an energy firm are making arrangements, top lawyers warned.

It comes as it emerged all adults could be offered two jabs by August because supplies are surging.

Many large firms have already told staff they should work remotely, with some even delaying a return to the office until at least the end of the year.

However, some studies claim that productivity is hampered as workers log in from their kitchen table rather than at their desk.

Tory MPs urged the Government last night to provide clarity on when staff might be able to return to their offices.

Former party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said: ‘We need to get people back to work as soon as possible.

‘There are lots of reasons why work is important to our lives. It affects people’s physical and mental wellbeing and there are issues around productivity.

‘I would like to see as much detail as possible in the road map to help people to make plans. They need to know in advance.’

The message to work from home was introduced at the beginning of the first lockdown last March.

But as the surge in Covid cases eased over the summer, it was changed to urge employees to return to their offices to get Britain working again, sparking fury from Labour MPs and unions.

Announcing the third national lockdown at the beginning of this year, the PM said people should go into work only if they ‘absolutely’ could not work from home. 

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He told BBC Breakfast: ‘It’s up to businesses what they do, but we don’t yet have the evidence of the effect of vaccines on transmission.’

Downing Street slapped down Dominic Raab on Sunday after the Foreign Secretary suggested documents could be required before going into shops.

Mr Zahawi told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday: ‘It’s a combination of rapid testing as well as the mass vaccination programme that will get our economy back on its feet and venues open again.’

Meanwhile, senior ministers have reportedly urged Boris Johnson to look into Covid certificate schemes as a way of getting clubs, cinemas and theatres reopened.   

One senior minister told the Times: ‘We’re talking about industries that are dying here.  

‘In terms of getting live music, theatre and other parts of the entertainment industry back on their feet, it seems an obvious thing to do once the majority of people have been vaccinated.’

It comes as it was today revealed the government is preparing a roadmap out of lockdown with curbs on pubs, restaurants and hotels eased at four-weekly intervals starting with a ‘limited’ Easter holiday – but it could take until July to return to ‘broadly normal’.  

The blueprint being discussed by ministers and industry leaders would allow restrictions to be eased only at four-weekly intervals.

The gradual approach means traders will have to wait until at least Easter – early April – for a limited restart.

This is likely to include the reopening of holiday lets and larger hotels, with dining rooms still closed. Sports such as golf and tennis could resume.

Pubs, bars and restaurants will have to wait until early May under the plans, with a maximum of two households allowed to sit together indoors and the rule of six applying outside.

The next stage, in early June, would see the rules for pubs and restaurants relaxed with the rule of six extended indoors.

The hospitality and domestic holiday industries could be allowed to return to normal in July – with social distancing.

It comes as the government is set to unveil a new slogan and the PM plans to send testing kits to millions of homes and businesses as lockdown is eased.

‘Are you ready? Get testing. Go’ will reportedly be a new campaign launched ahead of the reopening of schools next month.

Ministers will not make a final decision on the roadmap timetable until this weekend when they are presented with the latest data on the spread of the virus.

Boris Johnson will unveil the plan on Monday. But the blueprint is the most detailed outline of the Government’s thinking so far. 

It appears to confirm that – contrary to the demands of some Tory MPs – the Prime Minister is determined to be cautious, with plenty of ‘headroom’ to adjust to any resurgence of the virus.

The fact that the rule of six and social distancing are expected to remain in force until well into the summer indicates the extent of the worries over new mutations.

The Mail can also reveal that office staff are expected to be told to keep working from home when the Prime Minister unveils his roadmap.

He is not expected to set a firm date for when employees should return to their desks, meaning that the ‘work from home if you can’ message will continue for the foreseeable future. 

The rapid roll-out of the vaccine has boosted optimism that Mr Johnson will announce that the long winter lockdown can be lifted sooner than expected.

Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin wants punters back INSIDE bars to coincide with non-essential shops reopening on April 2 

Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin has called on the Government to reopen the nation’s pubs at the same time as non-essential shops as bars remain shut across the country during the third lockdown.

A full reopening for pubs is not expected until May at the earliest, with Mr Martin warning the industry is ‘on its knees’ and venues must be allowed back to save jobs.

Meanwhile, Patrick Dardis, the chief executive of pub giant Young’s, has also called for a full reopening as he said it would be a ‘nonsense’ to permit venues to only serve outside in April.  

Mr Dardis said the hospitality sector should be able to return with social distancing in place at the same time as non-essential retail. 

He said pubs seemed to be ‘at the back of the queue’ in the Government’s reopening plans and ‘all we’re asking is to be treated fairly’. 

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It was claimed yesterday that the NHS will receive enough vaccine doses to jab everyone over 50, or 32million people, by the end of March – a full month ahead of schedule.

Almost one in four Britons has now had at least one jab and experts yesterday said the UK’s vaccination programme was reducing coronavirus deaths among the over-80s.

However, the blueprint revealed by the Mail today is likely to be seen as more cautious than many in the hospitality and leisure sector were asking for.

They had warned that businesses would go under unless they were allowed to get going again from the Easter weekend.

The new route map, the most detailed outline of the Government’s thinking so far, lays out how vast swathes of the UK economy will reopen.

As already widely reported, schools will reopen from March 8, along with an easing of the restrictions on outdoor exercise and meeting others outdoors, followed by the reopening of non-essential shops at the end of March, or at the start of April at the latest.

Under plans discussed with industry figures, staycations in self-catered holiday lets, second homes or larger hotels would return in the first half of April, potentially just after Easter.

Outdoor leisure, such as theme parks, public gardens and zoos, and outdoor sports such as golf, open air gyms and tennis would get the go-ahead at the same time.

This ‘soft opening’ of the economy would then be followed with a loosening of restrictions every four weeks if case numbers and hospital admissions continued to fall.

An industry source said: ‘The suggestion is that we would broadly go back to normal in late June or July.’

The above map shows where the strain B.1.525 has been detected in the world. It was first identified in the UK and Nigeria in late December

The above map shows where the strain B.1.525 has been detected in the world. It was first identified in the UK and Nigeria in late December

Government tells 1.7million more people to shield in England 

A further 1.7million people in England are being told to shield from coronavirus and everyone on the vulnerable list is being urged to stay at home until at least March 31.

Officials said the list — first drafted almost a year ago — was being almost doubled after No10’s scientific advisers identified additional adults at serious risk of Covid-19.

The Department of Health did not say who would be added, but the update will look at risk factors including age, weight, ethnicity and deprivation – rather than just underlying conditions.

It comes after the National Audit Office revealed last week hundreds of thousands of vulnerable patients were not told to shield due to out-of-date records.

Today’s announcement pours cold water on hopes lockdown could start to be eased next month, suggesting medics do not think it will be safe.

This is despite the Government smashing its target of vaccinating 15million of the most vulnerable by February 15.

There had been hopes that, once those most at risk were jabbed and developed immunity several weeks later, that the most draconian curbs could be lifted.

Of the 1.7million new shielders, 900,000 have already had their first dose because their age or medical history made them eligible during the first phase of the roll-out.

But health chiefs are now racing to immunise the 800,000 who were missed during the first wave of vaccinations. Health chiefs said they will be prioritised. 

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Other insiders believe decisions could be taken at three-week intervals, as this is the time that it takes for the data to demonstrate the effect of the lockdown loosening.   

Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin has called on the Government to reopen the nation’s pubs at the same time as non-essential shops

A full reopening is not expected until May at the earliest, with Mr Martin warning the industry is ‘on its knees’ and venues must be allowed back to save jobs. 

Mr Martin spoke of the huge contribution pubs make to the economy, saying: ‘In the financial year to July 2019, before the pandemic, Wetherspoon, its customers and employees generated £764 million of taxes – £1 in every thousand collected by the UK Government.

‘Many people have correctly pointed out that the three lockdowns of the last year have been a disaster for the hospitality, retail, arts and entertainment industries, but our calculations show that they have been an even bigger disaster for public finances.

‘The taxes paid by Wetherspoon are mirrored by thousands of companies which have been annihilated by lockdowns. As a result, government finances have been annihilated even more.’

Meanwhile, some companies have begun drafting ‘no jab, no job’ contracts to force staff to get Covid-19 vaccinations despite lawyers warning they are ‘risky’ and likely to be challenged.

Bosses in the care home sector as well as large international groups including an energy firm are making arrangements, top lawyers warned.

The move could mean both prospective and current employees would need to have the coronavirus vaccine to work at an organisation.

Asked about businesses who introduce a scheme, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said it was ‘up to them’.

The Government has so far said it has no plans to introduce a passport scheme, with Mr Zahawi previously describing their use as ‘wrong’ and ‘discriminatory’.   

Office staff are set to be told to keep working from home even as other lockdown restrictions are eased.

Boris Johnson is not expected to give a firm date for when workers will return to their desks as he unveils his plans for a return to normality on Monday. 

‘We’re all having to do things we’d rather not do’: Kate Garraway clashes with guest during fiery debate about Covid vaccine passports amid her husband Derek’s coronavirus battle 

Kate Garraway clashed with a guest on Tuesday’s Good Morning Britain during a fiery debate about Covid vaccine passports.

The presenter, 53, pointed out that everyone is making ‘many sacrifices’ as commentator Dominique Samuels, 22, argued the idea of vaccine passports is ‘ridiculous’ and claimed it was ‘mandating vaccines through the backdoor’. 

It comes as Kate’s ailing husband Derek Draper, 53, continues his slow recovery from coronavirus, meaning she and the couple’s two children haven’t been able to see him since Christmas.

During the debate, Samuels argued that the idea of a Covid vaccine passport domestically will ‘greatly impact young people’ and create a class in society of ‘the vaccinated vs the unvaccinated’. 

Debate: Kate Garraway clashed with a guest on Tuesday's episode of Good Morning Britain during a fiery debate about Covid vaccine passports

Debate: Kate Garraway clashed with a guest on Tuesday’s episode of Good Morning Britain during a fiery debate about Covid vaccine passports

Fiery: The presenter, 53, pointed out that everyone is making 'many sacrifices' as commentator Dominique Samuels, 22, argued that the idea of vaccine passports is 'ridiculous' and claimed it was 'mandating vaccines through the backdoor'

Fiery: The presenter, 53, pointed out that everyone is making ‘many sacrifices’ as commentator Dominique Samuels, 22, argued that the idea of vaccine passports is ‘ridiculous’ and claimed it was ‘mandating vaccines through the backdoor’

Kate argued back, saying: ‘We’re all having to do things we’d rather not do… we don’t want to stay at home, we don’t want to be in lockdown.’

She added: ‘We’d love to go see our loved ones, but we can’t. We’d love to go visit the people in hospital, there are many, many sacrifices people are making.’

Starting the debate, Samuels said: ‘I mean it’s a ridiculous idea for a few reasons, I cant even believe that we’re having this conversation. 

‘But the first being, this is mandating vaccines, by deciding who can and can’t do things in society, such as bars and restaurants, when the government has said it would never go down the road of mandating vaccines. 

‘This is mandating vaccines just through the backdoor, what’s even the point of the vaccination programme when those that are most vulnerable in society account for about 80 to 90% of the hospitalisation and deaths will be protected by the vaccine.

‘Why do we need to go down the route of excluding other people from society and stop them from using facilities. 

‘This is essentially creating a class of two people in society, the vaccinated vs the unvaccinated. 

‘This will greatly impact young people. imagine being a young person, going through lockdown when you’ve not really been affected by coronavirus, having your job prospects slashed.

Battle: It comes as Kate's ailing husband Derek Draper continues his slow recovery from coronavirus, the presenter hasn't seen him since Christmas (pictured December 2019)

Battle: It comes as Kate’s ailing husband Derek Draper continues his slow recovery from coronavirus, the presenter hasn’t seen him since Christmas (pictured December 2019)

‘Then on top of that, not even being able to participate in getting the economy moving again. Let’s be honest, the hospitality sector in particular greatly relies on the custom of young people, particularly in university cities.’ 

Kate was quick to argue back as she clashed with the commentator’s views, arguing that everyone is making ‘sacrifices’.

She said: ‘They would make the choice that they would rather not be vaccinated and potentially help to protect those around them, that would mean that they can’t go to the pub. They weren’t safe to go to the pub, that would be their choice. 

‘No one is stopping them going, they would be choosing to make a decision, out of their own opinions, which then yes, might mean they couldn’t do those things. Why is that unfair compared with risking someone’s life?’ 

To which Samuels hit back with: ‘Well that’s based upon your idea of freedom not being forced to do something is but you are inadvertently being forced to take a vaccine there are many people who don’t want to take vaccines.’

Clash: During the fiery debate, Samuels, pictured, argued that the idea of a Covid vaccine passport domestically will 'greatly impact young people' and create a class in society of 'the vaccinated vs the unvaccinated'

Hitting back: Kate argued back, saying: 'We're all having to do things we'd rather not do... we don't want to stay at home, we don't want to be in lockdown.'

Clash: During the fiery debate, Samuels, left, argued that the idea of a Covid vaccine passport domestically will ‘greatly impact young people’ and create a class in society of ‘the vaccinated vs the unvaccinated’ 

Kate responded: ‘No, you are only being asked to take it if you want to do that activity, I mean I understand the point you’re driving at, there are people that are fearful of the vaccine. 

‘There are people who don’t want to take the vaccine but you know we’re in a situation where we’re all having to do things we’d rather not do… 

‘We don’t want to stay at home, we don’t want to be in lockdown, a lot of people don’t want to wear masks, a lot of people don’t want to do all sorts of things.

‘We’d love to go see our loved ones, but we can’t. We’d love to go visit the people in hospital, there are many, many sacrifices people are making.’

She concluded: ‘The argument would be… that if you choose not to have the vaccine, that is your choice, but it has consequences.’

On Sunday, Boris Johnson promised Britons that they will not need to carry a ‘vaccine passport’ to go to the pub when the country eventually escapes lockdown.

The Prime Minister shot down reports the controversial scheme is being looked at as a tactic to keep the economy open when restrictions are finally lifted.

But he conceded that some form of proof of vaccination will likely be needed to get international travel back up and running in the future.

During a visit to a community vaccination centre in Orpington, South East London, the PM said: ‘I think inevitably there will be great interest in ideas like can you show that you had a vaccination against Covid in the way that you sometimes have to show you have had a vaccination against Yellow Fever or other diseases in order to travel somewhere.

‘I think that is going to be very much in the mix down the road, I think that is going to happen. What I don’t think we will have in this country is – as it were – vaccination passports to allow you to go to, say, the pub or something like that.’ 

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