Mandatory Vaccines Will Have ‘Serious, Damaging Effect’ on Employment Rights, Warns Baroness Fox

Anti-vaccination protesters, including one holding a placard against coronavirus vaccine passports, gather in Parliament Square outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on July 19, 2021 as coronavirus restrictions are lifted in England. - Day-to-day pandemic restrictions were lifted in England on July 19 but "freedom day" was met …
TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images

Mandatory vaccines will have a “serious, damaging effect on people’s employment rights”, Claire Fox, Baroness Fox of Buckley, has warned.

“When it comes to people’s employment rights and their jobs, the idea that you would be told that this… very efficient vaccine is going to be forced on you with the threat of your job seems to me to undermine any of the positive ways one can argue for taking the vaccine and actually, has a serious, damaging effect on people’s employment rights,” Baroness Fox told talkRADIO host Calvin Robinson on Saturday.

The former Brexit Party MEP and peer in the House of Lords made the remarks in relation to the House of Commons passing a bill before the closing of parliament that would force care home staff to be vaccinated.

Recent reports project that some 40,000 care home staff, out of the profession’s 570,000 workforce, could lose their jobs as a result of the legislation, which when passed was criticised by Boris Johnson’s own party MP William Wragg, who compared the process without proper debate akin to something one would expect “in a communist country”.

Fox likewise criticised the swiftness with which the document was forced through, saying there had been no argument in society at large over whether care workers should be forced to be double-vaccinated or risk losing their jobs.

On August 4th, the government released an updated operational guidance document, which reveals that it will not just be full-time care staff who will be expected to be fully vaccinated, but other staff from non-care settings, such as “staff who may work in the home on a part-time or occasional basis, to deliver non-care-related services, such as hairdressing, maintenance, or activities”.

Baroness Fox said of the expansion of mandatory vaccines: “You start to suspect that this is just a rolling out of mandatory vaccines for people. It’s the thin end of the wedge.”

“I think it is not about honouring the care of the elderly or the vulnerable. It’s a bureaucratic policy that’s illiberal and dangerous,” she added.

Others have also expressed their concern that mandatory vaccination of care home staff could give businesses the licence to demand it of their own employees.

“Millions of other workers” could “now face vaccination demands at work due to the expanse of this law”, warned Silkie Carlo, the director of the privacy and civil liberties pressure group Big Brother Watch, last month.

Some, like anti-Brexit activist and head of Pimlico Plumbers Charlie Mullins, have been discussing ‘jabs for jobs’ since January.

A recent poll by the British Chambers of Commerce revealed that around one-third of large businesses (employing more than 50 people) would consider introducing vaccine mandates for their staff, eight per cent said they were “likely” to in future, and nine per cent said they were already demanding staff prove they were vaccinated.

It is not just employees in care homes who are having domestic vaccine passports foisted upon them. On ‘Freedom Day’, when the majority of lockdown restrictions were lifted, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that from late September, when all young people will have had a chance to be double vaccinated, entry to nightclubs would be only permitted to those who can prove their vaccine status.

While ostensibly only affecting the young, Conservative MP Sir Desmond Swayne warned earlier this month that domestic vaccine passports could soon be “an imposition on us all” and was a “Trojan Horse for an identity card system”.

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