The Government is making new laws about the vaccination of workers.
Close-contact businesses, such as restaurants and gyms, will need to have all of their staff vaccinated against Covid-19. Close contact businesses must also make sure their customers have vaccination certificates. This law will come into effect by the end of November or December
There may be some businesses that do not have close contact with customers, but also think their staff should be vaccinated. An employer cannot just tell staff to get vaccinated. They have to do a risk assessment first. The employer will have to think about things like who workers meet for work, and how close that contact is, and whether they can continue business if someone gets sick. This risk assessment is very formal, and there are government guidelines about how to do it. If the risk assessment shows that it is important for workers to be vaccinated, then an employer can demand that workers are vaccinated.
If a worker cannot be vaccinated, or does not want to, the employer cannot simply fire the worker. First, the employer must try to find the worker a safer job in the company. If there is not a safer job available, then the employer may have to fire the worker. In that case, the employer must give the worker four weeks to get vaccinated.
To encourage people to get vaccinated, the government will change the law so that employers must give workers time off to get vaccinated. If workers take time off to get vaccinated, they should not lose any pay.
close-contact: a compound adjective meaning that something involves close contact
come into effect: to begin a law
in that case: if that happens
certificate: a document that proves something is true. It is signed by an official.
risk assessment: a process of measuring danger
time off: time away from work
guidelines: advice about how to do something correctly