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One in three will not work with vaccine refuseniks

Workers are demanding colleagues are vaccinated against Covid-19

One in three UK workers say they will refuse to work with someone who has refused the Covid-19 vaccination.

Those under 24, the Gen Z generation, are the most reluctant (38%) to share an office or other workplace with vaccine refuseniks.

Two-thirds (64%) of all UK workers think employers should have the right to require their employees receive the Covid-19 vaccine in order for them to return to the office or workplace.

The Gen Z who are again the most vocal in this area, with 78% of the age group saying supporting such a measure.

The survey of 1,163 UK workers, carried out by HR software provider CIPHR, found that men are 17% more likely than women to think that employers should be able to require their staff to be vaccinated before returning to the workplace (69% of men vs 59% of women).

A third (33%) said their HR team has offered more help and guidance than they did prior to the Covid-19 pandemic with a similar proportion (35%) saying they had been offered online training and development to assist with the pandemic. 

SMEs back vaccine, but less committed to certification

Separate research from Close Brothers Asset Finance has revealed there is strong support among the UK’s SME business owners for the Covid vaccine.

However, enthusiasm for a vaccine certificate is noticeably more muted. 

Results from the survey of 900 SMEs from across all regions of the UK found that 80% of business owners would feel comfortable taking the vaccine in their personal capacity; 13% would not be prepared to be vaccinated, while the remaining percentage are still unsure. Support is strong across all regions and sectors surveyed, included retail and services.  

Support for a vaccine certificate, however, has been met with less enthusiasm, with 59% in favour, 22% against, and the rest ‘unsure’. Scotland and East Midlands (both 50%) were the least favourable while backing is strongest in North West (73%) and North East (71%) England.


The survey also noted nearly half of business owners will be prepared to pay for staff to be vaccinated for Covid on an annual basis, should this become an option. From a sector perspective, support is strongest in engineering (66%) and construction (60%).

Of those firms who are seeing customers or suppliers face-to-face, 50% indicated they would – if it becomes available – like to see some sort of evidence of vaccination. Construction (65%) and Engineering (68%) are most in favour. 

“The UK has led the way in the Covid vaccine development and rollout of the vaccination programme,” said Neil Davies, CEO, of Close Brothers’ Commercial division. 

“And our research suggests SMEs are comfortable with the vaccine’s effectiveness, with many owners (45%) willing to pay for their staff to be vaccinated – should this ever become an option – if it means they can safely return to work.”

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