Pimlico Plumbers has introduced a new ‘no jab, no job’ policy, four months after announcing it was being drafted into all new contracts.
The company, owned by multi-millionaire Charlie Mullins, has started issuing job adverts with the clause “Covid-19 vaccination required”.
It is the first time the company has listed the controversial new policy on internal vacancies.
In an online advert, the company explains: “In-house maintenance team members wanted. Covid-19 vaccination required."
A Pimlico Plumbers spokesperson said: "Our in-house recruitment team will ask for either the NHS card you get at the time of the vaccination or proof via the app when people come in."
Two further roles advertised on the recruitment website do not specify the need for a Covid jab.
It is the first time the company has listed the controversial new policy on an internal vacancy
Mullins previously said he had set aside £800million to help fund vaccines for staff
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Back in February, Charlie Mullins, founder of the £50million business, warned new recruits would be refused employment if they do not agree to a Covid vaccination once it becomes publicly available.
It came a month after the boss revealed he was drafting in lawyers to implement mandatory regulations – despite legal experts warning it could be in breach of employment laws.
Going one step further, Mullins revealed he had set aside £800million to help his staff get vaccinated once it becomes available on the high street.
The job advert is listed on the company's recruitment website
Pimlico Plumbers – which employs thousands of tradesmen – said the policy could also be added to existing contracts, although it insisted no current employees would be forced to receive a vaccine or be fired over the issue.
The most recent figures show than 40million people in the UK have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine to date.
First vaccines are now being offered to people aged 25 and above in England, the over-30s in Scotland and over-18s in Northern Ireland and Wales.
More than 40million people have been inoculated so far in Britain
(Image: Channel 4)
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has said it is "up to businesses what they do", but trade union Unison has said it "is totally unacceptable" for firms to pressure staff into taking the jab.
However, lawyers have suggested that such employment terms could trigger claims of discrimination or constructive dismissal.
Nick Hurley, lawyer at Charles Russell Speechlys said: "'No jab, no job' may seem clear and concise, but whether an employer can make it mandatory for employees to have the Covid-19 vaccine is far from straightforward.
"While employers have a legal obligation to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their staff, which may include minimising the spread of Covid-19 in the office, there are many also other factors to consider.
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Employment lawyers claim forcing staff to have the vaccine could breach discrimination laws
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"By requiring that employees are vaccinated, employers may inadvertently be breaking anti-discrimination legislation. For example, employees may have a disability that means they are unable to be vaccinated, so implementing a vaccination policy could give rise to a claim of disability discrimination.
"The same can be said for other factors which contribute to vaccination refusal like pregnancy, race, age or belief.
"With regard to the latter, it may also be that employees that consider themselves to be ardent "anti-vaxxers" will try and claim discrimination protection by arguing that their belief against vaccinations amounts to a philosophical belief.
"This may seem far-fetched but other cases have not always been intuitive as to what beliefs attract protection at law.
"That said, employers have a duty to start preparing and assessing the impact of the wider rollout of the vaccine for their employees."
Care home operator Barchester Healthcare is also among firms that have introduced the policy for all staff unless they are medically exempt.