Charlie Mullins, owner of Pimlico Plumbers, said he will not employ new staff if they do not have a Covid-19 vaccination. His ‘no jab, no job’ policy has caused much debate within the industry and has polarised reactions from KBB retailers.
The kbbreview100, a trusted group of the KBB retailers across the country, were polled for their views on the policy.
The vaccine is now available to all UK adults and 81.6% of the population have already had their first dose, with 59.5% having had their second. Many retailers support the vaccine roll-out programme, but do not support an employer demanding that their staff get the jab.
Richard Reynolds, chairman of CP Hart, supports the roll-out but not employers dictating what their staff can and cannot do. He said: “I support everyone that can being vaccinated, but ‘no jab, no job’ is unreasonable.”
In contrast, Phil Beechinor, managing director at Alexander in Horsham, agrees with Mullins but sees some issues with current employees. He said: “I understand why they have introduced the policy, I can see it being enforced for new employees and subcontractors, but difficult for existing employees, unless they issue me contracts and even then still difficult if someone really does want to have it.
“I think it’s great. Right now we need to send a clear signal that vaccination is the way out of this situation and I think it’s entirely right that some companies or organisations set this out clearly.”
The vaccine is just one way to stop the spread of Covid-19, as even after two doses the Government and the WHO still recommend that we continue to maintain social distancing, wear face masks and sanitise our hands regularly.
Dave Jarvis, owner Albion Bathrooms Kitchens Electricals in Burton-on-Trent, understands this, as he said: “I think what has been missed here is that having the jab does not grant immunity to the person having been injected.
“Our fitters and sales staff have all had two jabs, however our admin staff are slightly younger and haven’t had both yet, but I don’t think anyone feels safer. We are still regularly testing to ensure we don’t pass anything on to visitors to the showroom or if one of us visits a customer in their home for a measure-up.”
Director of Hutton Kitchens in Essex, Ed Scott, thinks that everyone should be thinking more about the whole UK population. He said: “Looking at the overall picture, although difficult, I do agree that, with a global pandemic that has had such a devastating effect on so many and cost so many lives, this would be a responsible thing to do, especially of we all took the same view.”
A third of the kbbreview100 polled say that they too will require their staff to be vaccinated, however many acknowledge that the majority of staff had chosen to be vaccinated, regardless of company policy.
Owner of MBK Design studio in Maidstone, Stewart Woodruff, thinks it is reasonable for a customer to choose only to have a vaccinated tradesperson in their house. He said: “If the client is concerned about one of his tradespersons not being vaccinated, then I am sure Pimlico Plumbers will have enough staff to offer his clients a plumber that has had the vaccination.”
John Martin, a designer at Regal Kitchens in Essex, describes Charlie Mullins’s decision to insist Pimlico Plumbers staff must have been vaccinated as ‘disgusting’.
On a similar side to Martin is John Pelosi, director Caldicot Kitchen and Bathroom Centre in south Wales, who takes a strong view against Mullins’s decision, said: “I find it utterly abhorrent. Depending on the reason for someone to choose to decline the experimental treatment, any resignation or dismissal resulting from the policy could well land a company in an employment tribunal.”
Pelosi went further, saying: “But looking beyond that, the question of bodily autonomy is a hugely important part of our inalienable human rights and freedoms, and the loss of that has huge implications for our liberties. What each of us chooses to put into our bodies should always remain a matter of individual personal choice and should not mandated by the State.”
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