Multi-millionaire Pimlico Plumbers boss enforces ‘no jab, no job’ policy for new staff
Pimlico Plumbers has introduced a new ‘no jab, no job’ policy, four months after announcing it would be included in all new contracts.
The company, owned by multi-millionaire Charlie Mullins, has started posting job openings with the “Covid-19 vaccination required” clause.
It is the first time the company has listed its controversial new internal vacancies policy.
In an online advertisement, the company explains: “Internal maintenance team members wanted. Covid-19 vaccination mandatory.”
A spokesperson for Pimlico Plumbers said: “Our internal recruitment team will ask for the NHS card you get at the time of vaccination or proof via the app when people come in.”
Two other roles advertised on the recruitment website do not specify the need for a Covid jab.
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In February, Charlie Mullins, founder of the £50m company, warned that new recruits would be turned away if they don’t agree to a Covid vaccination once it becomes publicly available.
It came a month after the boss revealed he was drafting lawyers to implement mandatory regulations – despite legal experts warning that it could violate labor laws.
Mullins went one step further, revealing that he has set aside £800 million to help his staff get vaccinated as soon as it becomes available on the high street.
Pimlico Plumbers – which employs thousands of merchants – said the policy could also be added to existing contracts, though it insisted current employees would not be forced to get a vaccine or be fired over the issue.
The latest figures show that more than 40 million people in the UK have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine to date.
The first vaccines are now being offered to people aged 25 and over in England, over 30s in Scotland and over 18s in Northern Ireland and Wales.
Vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi has said it “is up to companies what they do”, but Unison union has said it is “totally unacceptable” for companies to pressure staff to take the jab.
However, lawyers have suggested that such terms of employment could lead to discrimination or constructive dismissal.
Nick Hurley, attorney at Charles Russell Speechlys said: “’No jab, no job’ may seem clear and concise, but whether an employer can require employees to have the Covid-19 vaccine is far from easy.
“While employers are required by law to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their staff, including minimizing the spread of Covid-19 in the office, there are many other factors to consider.
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“By requiring employees to be vaccinated, employers could inadvertently violate anti-discrimination laws. For example, employees may have a disability that prevents them from being vaccinated, so implementing a vaccination policy could give rise to a claim of disability discrimination.
“The same can be said of other factors that contribute to vaccination refusal, such as pregnancy, race, age or religion.
“On the latter, it may also be the case that workers who consider themselves ardent ‘anti-vaxxers’ try to 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 about which beliefs are protected by law.
“That said, employers have a duty to begin preparing and assessing the impact of the wider vaccine rollout on their employees.”
Nursing home operator Barchester Healthcare is also one of the companies that has implemented the policy for all staff unless they are medically exempt.