My Unvaccinated Colleague Is Back In The Office, And I Don’t Feel Comfortable- What Are My Rights?
September 1, 2022

Since the rise and fall of the pandemic, it is easy to still feel uncomfortable when returning back to places of work where you are surrounded by people. Although it is everyone’s own decision whether they get the Covid19 vaccine, sometimes people in your workplace may not have it and this could cause you to worry about your own health and wellbeing. But what are your rights if you don’t feel comfortable around someone in your place of work?

Speak To Your Employer

If you are feeling uncomfortable due to the presence of a co-worker who is unvaccinated you should first speak to your employer since it is their job to ensure they provide a safe working environment for all employees.

It is important that they are following health and safety legislation when making decisions regarding employee protection against infectious diseases such as Covid19, as it is mandatory under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) to provide a safe working environment for all staff.

Employers should also be encouraging staff to get the vaccine; however, vaccines are overall voluntary.

Is It A Legal Requirement For People To Get The Covid19 Vaccine?

Currently, in the UK, the government has not called for the vaccine to be mandatory and instead gives people the choice as to whether they would like to have it or not.

By law, the Public Health Act 1984 prevents a person from being required to take any kind of medical treatment that they do not want to take so this goes for the Covid19 vaccine too.

What Are My Rights If I Am Uncomfortable In My Workplace?

With the laws surrounding vaccines stating that no one can be forced to have them, this means there are quite a few people in workplaces that could be unvaccinated, and this may make some people feel unsafe.

If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable coming to work, you have statutory rights which will provide you with protection from any detriment you could receive should you not return to work or choose to stay at home.

This is because if there is a situation in the workplace that you believe could endanger you and your health in the course of doing your job, then you have a right not to come in.

By putting you in an unsafe situation it could potentially breach health and safety laws whilst also potentially contributing to spreading Coronavirus to people who are of high risk.

However, this is often seen as a last resort, so the belief that you are in danger by entering your workplace must be genuine and reasonable.

For more legal advice visit Bowsers Solicitors and get in touch by clicking here.

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