Pimlico boss writes vaccine jab into new job contracts

Pimlico boss writes vaccine jab into new job contracts

Pimlico Plumbers boss Charlie Mullins says ‘no jab, no job’ contacts for new staff will be rolled out ‘in two to three months’ – insisting ‘people will crawl across snow NAKED to get a vaccine’

  • Charlie Mullins, of Pimlico Plumbers, will add ‘no jab, no job’ rule to contracts
  • He says he has spoken with lawyers about making jab mandatory for new hires 
  • Mr Mullins added that he is willing to pay for private vaccinations when available
  • He added: ‘people would crawl across the snow naked to get a vaccine’

Pimlico Plumbers boss Charlie Mullins today confirmed all new starters at his £50million business would have to take a Covid jab to get a job.

The outspoken owner – who is worth at least £70million – has thrashed out the new papers with his lawyers to make the booster mandatory for all new hires.

And he said he doubted many would object to the new terms, adding ‘people would crawl across the snow naked to get a vaccine at the moment’.

His firm is exploring how it might modify existing staff contracts although he insisted no one would be forced to receive a vaccine or be fired over the issue. 

Mullins. 68, said: ‘We’ve obviously been talking to our lawyers and they’re very happy that we can add this proposal to any new workers that start with us once the vaccine is rolled out.

‘We are in regular contract with our staff from our HR department and I think people would crawl across the snow naked to get a vaccine at the moment. 

Pimlico Plumbers boss Charlie Mullins today confirmed all new starters would need jabs

The outspoken boss said he was ‘in regular contract with his HR department’ over the plan

There are three coronavirus-tackling vaccines currently approved in the UK for use

 ‘We’ll be using the new contacts two to three months from now. 

‘When people come along for a job with us if they’re not happy to sign that then that’s their choice but they certainly won’t be given a job with Pimlico Plumbers. 

The comments, made in an interview with Radio 4, came as a legal director admitted he had been contacted by other clients exploring the concept. 

Lewis Silkins’ David Samuels said: ‘A company could elect to put that clause in their contract.

‘They might find resistance to it, people not wanting to sign up to it or saying somehow legally unfair that they’re required to do so.

‘I think at the beginning of the process that’s not really going to make any difference for that employer. 

The firm is also exploring how it might modify existing staff contracts, he said, although he insisted no one would be forced to receive a vaccine or be fired over the issue

Jabs for jobs: which doses are available? 

Pfizer/BioNTech (approved) 40million doses

The breakthrough jab was the first in the world to be proven to successfully block severe Covid-19 last year and it gained approval in the UK on December 2. 

Type: It uses brand-new technology and is known as a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine. Conventional vaccines are produced using weakened forms of the virus, but mRNAs use only the virus’s genetic code to enters cells and tells them to create antigens, which make them look like the coronavirus.

Efficacy: Studies showed the two-dose vaccine could prevent severe illness in 95 per cent of people who were injected with it. 

How many? The Government has ordered 40million doses, enough to vaccinate 20million Brits, but only a handful of million Brits have received the jab so far. 

Oxford University/AstraZeneca (approved) — 100million doses  

Type: Oxford’s vaccine is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus known as adenovirus which is genetically engineered to carry the genetics needed to create ‘spike’ proteins that make cells look like the coronavirus.

Efficacy: It was shown to be about 70 per cent effective at blocking Covid-19. In early results this varied from 62 per cent in people who received the full two doses to 90 per cent in people who received 1.5, however scientists say the 62 per cent figure has improved since those results were published.

How many? The UK has ordered 100million doses.

Moderna (approved) — 17million doses ordered

Type: Moderna’s jab also uses mRNA technology and works in a similar way to the Pfizer one already being offered on the NHS.

Efficacy: It was found to have 95 per cent efficacy in clinical trials.

How many? Britain has ordered 17million doses but was late to the party because it didn’t want to bet on this as well as the Pfizer jab, because both are based on the same technology. The first doses are expected to arrive in March.  

 

‘Where they may find difficulty is ultimately if they’re challenged through some kind of legal process on the basis that individual says it’s unfair legally for me to have that in my contract.

‘Perhaps they’d say it discriminates against them because they can’t have the vaccination or they can’t get hold of the vaccination or something along those lines

‘But there’s nothing to stop the business in the first place putting it in the contract.

‘I have certainly had enquiries about this, I can’t say I have had clients hellbent on introducing this, but they want to  understand if it would be possible in the right circumstances.’

The Government has pledged to vaccinate 15 million people in Britain by mid-February, with Boris Johnson promising that 200,000 doses would be administered per day by the end of the week.

Vaccinations will soon be available on the High Street, alongside in around 50 hubs which will be set up in venues across the UK in a bid to get the jab to as many Britons as possible. 

Yesterday Mr Mullins told the BBC he was willing to pay for private immunisations for those at Pimlico Plumbers, should they become available. 

He added he has set aside £800,000 to pay for inoculations for more than 400 workers.

‘We wouldn’t dream of forcing anybody but I’m pretty much certain that 99 per cent of our staff would jump at the opportunity,’ Mr Mullins said on Thursday. 

‘Who in their right mind would turn down one needle or one jab that could save your life?’   

Asked whether there was a contradiction between saying contracts could be modified to require vaccines while also saying no one would be forced out, Mr Mullins presented the issue as one of persuasion rather than coercion.

‘It’s not a contradiction because I think you’ll find if you encourage people and advise them … I’m happy to pay for anyone that works for us to have the vaccine,’ he said.

The Pimlico Plumbers boss added he believes that private vaccinations will be available within a few months.

He also said he does not think people will find a ‘no jab, no job’ policy controversial. 

‘Nobody moans now you’ve got to get on a plane with a negative Covid test,’ he said, referring to new rules requiring passengers arriving in Britain to provide proof of a negative test taken less than 72 hours before travel. 

Many other countries have had such requirements for months.  

However, despite Mr Mullins’ plans to adopt a ‘no jab, no job’ policy, lawyers have suggested this move could lead to claims of discrimination or constructive dismissal. 

Nick Wilcox, a partner at BDBF, told the Guardian that mandatory vaccinations ‘could be an issue’, advising employers to consult workers about jabs rather than imposing them.    

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