It goes without saying, that the past eighteen months have brought innumerable challenges for all of us. Many people have lost loved ones, lost jobs and suffered mentally as a result of the pandemic that continues to affect lives daily. More recently, with restrictions ending, we can now return to some form of normality and enjoy visiting pubs, clubs and restaurants, as well as going to gigs, festivals and theatres, and even travelling abroad. However, to be allowed to access many of these places and services, members of the public will need to provide evidence of either vaccination status, having tested negative for Covid-19 within the last 48 hours, or having virus immunity. This may cause some issues for those who are exempt from having the vaccine, or those who have exercised their right to choose not to have it.
There are certain circumstances where people are unable to demonstrate their Covid-19 status by having the vaccination or a test. This may include: people with learning disabilities, who are autistic or have a combination of impairments that result in the same distress, people who may be under medical supervision for serious diseases, people who are receiving palliative care, people who may be undergoing treatment with unpleasant side effects or people who are immunocompromised.
When bearing this in mind, the overarching attitude should be one of kindness and acceptance, whether you choose to have the vaccine or not. In life, we will always cross paths will people who have differing views to our own, this does not mean we should discriminate against these people.
We are all entitled to our own views and opinions, it is especially important to bear in mind that as an employer, you have a duty to treat all employee’s the same and ensure that any bullying or harassment is dealt with fairly and effectively, while adhering to your policies – such as Bullying and Harassment Policy and Disciplinary and Grievance Policy. We have all had difficult experiences as a result of the pandemic and now, hopefully, we are coming out of the worst of it – this is something to be celebrated.