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15th Jan 2021

Pimlico Plumbers boss announces ‘no vaccine, no job’ policy

Wayne Farry

Mullins is introducing a “no vaccine, no job” policy

Charlie Mullins, the outspoken businessman who founded Pimlico Plumbers, has said that he won’t hire anyone who hasn’t received the Covid-19 vaccine going forward.

The businessman, who courted controversy when he erected and refused to take down a billboard featuring the slogan ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ in 2018, has said that he will happily pay for the vaccine for all prospective staff once it becomes privately available.

“Once it’s out there and it becomes private, I’m happy to pay for all our staff to have it,” he told City AM.

“No vaccine, no job… When we go off to Africa and Caribbean countries, we have to have a jab for malaria — we don’t think about it, we just do it. So why would we accept something within our country that’s going to kill us when we can have a vaccine to stop it?”

Mullins, who is a former Tory donor but has been a vocal and vociferous critic of Brexit, has said that his company will amend contracts to include a clause regarding the vaccine.

“We’re going to change their contracts to say — whatever the wording might be — that you’re required to have a vaccine. It’s going to be standard,” he said.

“We won’t be employing people in the future unless they’ve got a vaccine,” he said. “If they want to sit at home and not lead a normal life then, don’t have a vaccine.”

Mullins, however, may face legal ramifications for his policy. The Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 states that members of the public can’t be subject to any mandatory medical treatment. This includes vaccinations.

Tim Copplestone, partner with national law firm Clarke Willmott LLP, and specialist in employment law, commented: “Despite widespread speculation in the media, employers (and indeed even the Government) do not hold an absolute power to compel an employee to receive a vaccination.

“Employers need to ensure that their approach does not breach the mutual trust and confidence between the parties, and that they are sensitive to human rights and wider statutory employment protections (such as protection from discrimination).

“Given the importance of safeguarding their workforce and members of the public, many employers are understandably prioritising urgent vaccination protection for their teams when they are eligible, especially for those who perform higher risk/key roles.”

At the time of writing, approximately 2.5 million British people have been administered the Covid-19 vaccine.