By Faith Ridler for MailOnline
A firm of London plumbers is looking at introducing a ‘no jab, no job’ policy requiring all its workers to be vaccinated against coronavirus, its founder has revealed.
Charlie Mullins, of Pimlico Plumbers, says he has been talking to his lawyers about making the vaccine mandatory for all new hires within a few months.
The firm is also exploring how it might modify existing staff contracts, he said, although he insisted no one would be forced to receive a vaccine or be fired over the issue.
The Government has pledged to vaccinate 15 million people in Britain by mid-February, with Boris Johnson promising that 200,000 doses would be administered per day by the end of the week.
Charlie Mullins (pictured), of Pimlico Plumbers, says he has been talking to his lawyers about making the vaccine mandatory for all new hires within a few months
Vaccinations will soon be available on the High Street, alongside in around 50 hubs which will be set up in venues across the UK in a bid to get the jab to as many Britons as possible.
However, Mr Mullins told the BBC he was willing to pay for private immunisations for those at Pimlico Plumbers, should they become available.
He added he has set aside £800,000 to pay for inoculations for more than 400 workers.
‘We wouldn’t dream of forcing anybody but I’m pretty much certain that 99 per cent of our staff would jump at the opportunity,’ Mr Mullins said on Thursday.
The firm is also exploring how it might modify existing staff contracts, he said, although he insisted no one would be forced to receive a vaccine or be fired over the issue
‘Who in their right mind would turn down one needle or one jab that could save your life?’
Asked whether there was a contradiction between saying contracts could be modified to require vaccines while also saying no one would be forced out, Mr Mullins presented the issue as one of persuasion rather than coercion.
‘It’s not a contradiction because I think you’ll find if you encourage people and advise them … I’m happy to pay for anyone that works for us to have the vaccine,’ he said.
The Pimlico Plumbers boss added he believes that private vaccinations will be available within a few months.
He also said he does not think people will find a ‘no jab, no job’ policy controversial.
‘Nobody moans now you’ve got to get on a plane with a negative Covid test,’ he said, referring to new rules requiring passengers arriving in Britain to provide proof of a negative test taken less than 72 hours before travel.
Many other countries have had such requirements for months.
However, despite Mr Mullins’ plans to adopt a ‘no jab, no job’ policy, lawyers have suggested this move could lead to claims of discrimination or constructive dismissal.