Vaccines should not affect employment, says Stopcocks

Recent reports in the news about ‘no jab, no job’ policies in the sector have prompted Stopcocks Women Plumbers to caution against knee-jerk reactions. Last week Pimlico Plumbers floated the idea that its employment contracts might include a requirement for workers to have a Covid-19 vaccine. Here, Stopcocks Women Plumbers founder Hattie Hasan MBE calls for business leaders to take a more thought-out approach to managing staff.

While we’re all waiting for the vaccines to bring this crisis under control, we need to carefully consider the implications of our actions. Householders could be frightened into demanding vaccination certificates, and might tradespeople demand them from householders?

Plumbers, heating engineers, and electricians, who deal with urgent and emergency situations, are aware that, on the one hand, they are personally at risk going into people’s homes and, on the other, they themselves could pose a threat to householders, which is why they’ve been at the forefront of safer practices since the CV19 crisis began.

It’s too early to know whether the CV19 vaccines prevent transmission, or if they only protect those who’ve been vaccinated. Medical guidelines in favour of safe working practices – safe distances, hand and surface cleaning, and wearing a mask – which include householders as well as tradespeople all taking responsibility, are more helpful, especially since many won’t receive the second dose of the vaccine until the end of 2021.

The current health crisis can be used positively to help customers and tradespeople stay safe rather than knee-jerk reactions that increase fear.

Many tradespeople we’ve spoken to are unhappy that ‘no jab, no job’ requirements invade their civil liberties, and could be disruptive. Will tradespeople refuse to enter households where people haven’t been vaccinated? It could be a slippery slope. Virtually all the tradeswomen we’ve spoken to are very keen to be vaccinated against CV19 but they’re also unhappy that some bosses are suggesting they ‘must’ receive vaccinations to remain working.

Most tradespeople don’t fall within the age range to receive the CV19 vaccines for some time and insistence on vaccines will only serve to compound existing economic deprivation felt because of the current crisis. Although we believe most tradespeople will decide to be vaccinated, it’s currently unknown whether the CV19 vaccine prevents transmission as well as keeping people symptom-free.



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