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Covid-19 Workplace Vaccination Policy and Practice

Time: 09:25 - 12:30 GMT (if you can't attend live, register to watch the recording)

Cost per attendee: £250 + VAT 

With the vaccine rollouts and booster campaigns in place, companies around the world are facing a dilemma: whether or not to mandate that current employees and new hires get vaccinated before returning fully to the workplace.

Some employers have already taken a stance but many are currently weighing up their options, others have not yet given it serious thought. 

This legal, moral and medical minefield needs a clear and considered approach to avoid expensive and unwanted tribunals as well as potential damage to reputation and standing as an employer of choice; risky issues in an environment where recruitment is such a challenge.

We’ve been advising companies on pandemic policies and practice since 2006, so we know where to find the experts and what advice, facts and guidance they need to deliver.

The Government’s directive for mandatory vaccinations in the healthcare sector, plus decisions by Pimlico Plumbers and Bloomsbury Publishing, has forced employers to examine whether they can or even should justify a similar approach.

While vaccination remains a personal choice in the majority of organisations, smart employers are examining sickness, absence and safety in the workplace and are considering their options with regard to mandatory policy.

Come and hear discussions and solutions from all angles of this complex and nuanced debate and get expert guidance on what to do in your organisation.

Expert speakers will address:

  • Key health and safety considerations and risk assessment
  • What policy adjustments are necessary and legal
  • How to practically implement those changes
  • Essential procedural considerations

Past delegates said: 

"Very informative, great speakers and presentations. Helps with dealing with COVID and vaccinations going forward." 9/10

"I thought the breadth of personal/professional interests of the speakers was excellent and gave a well balanced approach with plenty to think about". 10/10

"Very insightful and clear on the key points for businesses to act on/review/consider. Good signposting to other resources; excellent clarity on the vaccine hesitancy and how to deal with. Thank you". 9/10

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Which functions will benefit from attending

  • HR, Health and Safety, Business Continuity Planning, Occupational Health, Contingency and Business Continuity Planning, Recruitment, Resourcing, Legal & Compliance, Line Management, Employee Relations, Security, Risk, Compliance, Strategy, Operations, and all directors and staff with responsibilities within this area.

Hear from

Schedule

Chair's welcome and introduction

Elizabeth Smith

Elizabeth Smith

Director of Research
Business Forums International Ltd. (BFI)

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Business Forums International Ltd. (BFI) logo

Elizabeth Smith

Director of Research , Business Forums International Ltd. (BFI)

Elizabeth is director of research and a founding co-director at Business Forums International. She is responsible for all programme content and writing, and researches current areas of interest for senior HR professionals in large organisations. BFI is the UK’s leading HR risk specialist conference and training provider, delivering key and timely information to over 3,000 delegates a year both through public and in-house training courses. Before founding BFI in 1996, Elizabeth specialised in researching corporate financial programmes in Asia and the Middle East, based in Dubai. She also worked in advertising and publishing in the Middle East and London. Elizabeth was educated in the West Indies, Saudi Arabia and Belgium before reading Modern Languages at Durham University. She is currently developing an online training course for line managers to raise awareness of menopause symptoms and ways that employers can work to make their workplaces more inclusive.

Medical conditions & safety concerns

Dr Mike Tildesley

Dr Mike Tildesley

Professor
University of Warwick

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University of Warwick logo

Dr Mike Tildesley

Professor , University of Warwick

Mike is a Professor at the University of Warwick, specialising in the modelling of infectious diseases, and is a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling group – the modelling subgroup of SAGE (Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation), and has been working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic upon the development of models to inform a range of policy questions in the UK. He also advises the government on the transmission of Covid-19 in schools.

  • How normal a return to business will the vaccine really offer?
  • What are the alternatives? Testing programmes? Continued social distancing/health & safety measures etc.
  • Identifying and implementing reasonable additional measures:
    • social distancing
    • hygiene
    • shift patterns

Legal update: Vaccination policy & practice - Essential elements to consider

Lara Flynn

Lara Flynn

Senior Associate
Osborne Clarke

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Osborne Clarke logo

Lara Flynn

Senior Associate , Osborne Clarke

Lara is a Senior Associate in the Employment and Benefits team at Osborne Clarke. Lara advises on a wide variety of contentious and non-contentious employment matters including managing poor performance, disciplinary and grievance issues , drafting settlement agreements and implementing redundancies. She has assisted employers in defending a range of employment tribunal claims including whistleblowing, unfair dismissal and discrimination. Lara is also experienced in advising on the employment issues that can arise in corporate transactions. Lara has assisted in cross jurisdictional matters and has spent time working with the employment team in Osborne Clarke’s Milan office. Lara studied Law at Cardiff University before going on to complete the LPC at BPP Bristol. Lara joined Osborne Clarke as a trainee in 2014, undertaking four seats including employment and employee incentives. Lara qualified into the Employment and Benefits team in September 2016.

Ed Grey

Ed Grey

Associate
Osborne Clarke

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Osborne Clarke logo

Ed Grey

Associate , Osborne Clarke

Ed is an Associate in the Employment team, advising on a wide range of employment matters including unfair dismissal, discrimination, redundancy, disciplinary issues, grievances and TUPE. He drafts and negotiates employment documentation such as contracts, policies and settlement agreements and provides advice on the employment law issues that arise from corporate transactions. Ed has experience of managing cases in the Employment Tribunal. Ed joined Osborne Clarke as a trainee solicitor in 2018 and qualified in 2020.

  • Advocating for compliance: what are the confines of the law?
  • What are the risks and how can you mitigate them in your own organisation
    • Indirect discrimination
    • Unfair dismissal
    • Protected characteristics: age, pregnancy, maternity, race, religion, belief
    • Privacy, personal injury
  • Avoiding the blanket approach
  • Privacy and data protection imperatives
  • What needs to be communicated and when?
  • Termination

Legal Q&A: Based on your feedback which we will gather on the day.

Kevin Charles

Kevin Charles

Consulting Barrister
Crossland Employment Solicitors

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Crossland Employment Solicitors logo

Kevin Charles

Consulting Barrister , Crossland Employment Solicitors

Kevin was called to the Bar in 1996. Having completed his pupillage and qualified as a barrister, Kevin spent several years in industry working as in-house counsel, where he advised predominately corporate clients across the full range of employment law and industrial relations and represented clients in employment tribunals across the country. Kevin has also gained several years experience in private practice working for a firm of City solicitors, where he advised and represented both individual and corporate clients. Latterly, Kevin has worked for the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, where as well as providing employment legal advice, he has been involved in lobbying on the TUPE regulations, carrying out staff/HR training, producing best practice guides and policy documents. A Director of Crossland from 2009 to 31 March 2017, Kevin is now a consulting barrister to the firm and undertakes most of their advocacy. Kevin is recommended in Legal 500 and Chamber Guide to the Legal Profession.

Among other issues our expert will address:

  • Grounds for refusal and how to manage them:
    • Religious/philosophical
    • potential side-effect
    • breast-feeding and pregnant women
  • Scanning QR codes and other data protection considerations: the ICO guidance
  • Onboarding and new contracts: workable solutions to support your policy

Comfort break

Risk assessment health & safety

Michael Edwards

Michael Edwards

OSH Content Developer
Institution of Occupational Safety and Health

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Institution of Occupational Safety and Health logo

Michael Edwards

OSH Content Developer , Institution of Occupational Safety and Health

Michael is a Chartered Member of IOSH with over 15 years’ experience in the field. Graduating from the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (Now Cardiff Metropolitan University) with a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences, Michael was soon interested in the field of occupational safety and health (OSH). He has worked for a variety of organisations within his health and safety career, including 10 years working for Babcock International Group PLC as a Health and Safety Officer, Advisor and finally HSE Assurance Manager. He is currently working as an OSH Content Developer, writing high-level OSH content for the IOSH membership.

  • What is the risk to your business in not having a COVID-19 vaccination policy?
    • Risk assessment, control measures and consultation
    • Translation of health and safety risk into business risk
  • COVID-19 vaccination policy as part of business resilience
  • Does a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy decrease the risk to your business, compared a voluntary one?
  • Elements of a vaccination policy

Panel discussion: What is the rest of the world doing and what lessons can we learn?

Stuart Barnard

Stuart Barnard

Head of HSEQ
RPS Group

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RPS Group logo

Stuart Barnard

Head of HSEQ , RPS Group

Stuart has worked in the health and safety arena for over 15 years and has practical experience managing safety in various industries, including construction, planned and reactive maintenance, aviation and manufacturing. He previously worked for the Health & Safety Executive where he was involved with many aspects of health and safety, and supported a number of high profile cases. Stuart has been a Chartered Health & Safety practitioner for over 10 years and enjoys promoting positive cultural changes to health and safety, and improving perceptions of health and safety. RPS is a leading global professional services firm founded in 1970. We define, design and manage projects that create shared value by solving problems that matter to a complex, urbanising and resource-scarce world. This is our purpose. We work across six sectors: property, energy, transport, water, resources, defence and government services. Our services span twelve clusters: project and program management; design and development; water services; environment; advisory and management consulting; exploration and development; planning and approvals; health, safety and risk; oceans and coastal; laboratories; training and communication and creative services.

Branwyn Darlington

Branwyn Darlington

HR Manager/General Affairs
Wismettac Harro Foods Ltd

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Wismettac Harro Foods Ltd logo

Branwyn Darlington

HR Manager/General Affairs , Wismettac Harro Foods Ltd

Branwyn has worked at Wismettac Harro Foods for 15 years, each of which has been a ‘transition year’ as the company grows and evolves. Wismettac Harro Foods is a Japanese food wholesaler and distributor, which has given the company ‘essential business’ status during the COVID-19 pandemic. As HR Manager, Branwyn has led the COVID Response Team at WHF, changing and adapting while new information and government guidance has been introduced throughout the pandemic. WHF has been operating a hybrid system since before the term was widely adopted, since many employees cannot work from home. Branwyn tries to lead by example, even wearing a mask during video calls when she is the only person in the meeting room.

  • Biden’s suspension of business vaccine mandate: might it happen here?
  • Australia’s Public Health Order: Draconian control or sensible strategy?
  • Social media messages and disinformation

Mandatory vaccines in the health sector: Implications for wider business practice

Ian Clements, BSc MSc CEng MIET CMIOSH FIoD CDir

Ian Clements, BSc MSc CEng MIET CMIOSH FIoD CDir

Managing Director
Quadriga Health & Safety Ltd

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Quadriga Health & Safety Ltd logo

Ian Clements, BSc MSc CEng MIET CMIOSH FIoD CDir

Managing Director , Quadriga Health & Safety Ltd

Ian Clements has over 30 years’ experience in occupational health and safety, gained across a range of manufacturing, service, private healthcare, PFI/PPP, renewable energy and local authority sectors in both the UK and overseas. Prior to establishing Quadriga in 1998, Ian headed the Health and Safety function for two major FTSE PLCs. Quadriga has an established team of 34 staff and its core business centres on providing strategic health and safety advice, expert witness, audit and training services. The Company now supports a very wide range of organisations including Nuffield Health, Spire Healthcare, Circle Health, King Edward VII hospital, and over 250 companies operating in the PFI, PPP renewables and infrastructure sector including many major health, accommodation, education, renewable energy, housing and education projects. Other clients include, Stanhope, Heron Corporation, the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. Quadriga also provides strategic support to the clients of a number of major construction projects that include 22 Bishopsgate (62 storeys) and many other major London developments. Ian holds a BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, an MSc in Occupational Safety and Hygiene, is a Chartered Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, a Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and a Chartered Director. Ian frequently provides Board level briefings on health and safety management to major organisations and also acts as an expert witness.

Clinic: Key elements of an effective and future-proof policy

Dr Mike Tildesley

Dr Mike Tildesley

Professor
University of Warwick

View Bio
University of Warwick logo

Dr Mike Tildesley

Professor , University of Warwick

Mike is a Professor at the University of Warwick, specialising in the modelling of infectious diseases, and is a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling group – the modelling subgroup of SAGE (Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation), and has been working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic upon the development of models to inform a range of policy questions in the UK. He also advises the government on the transmission of Covid-19 in schools.

Kevin Charles

Kevin Charles

Consulting Barrister
Crossland Employment Solicitors

View Bio
Crossland Employment Solicitors logo

Kevin Charles

Consulting Barrister , Crossland Employment Solicitors

Kevin was called to the Bar in 1996. Having completed his pupillage and qualified as a barrister, Kevin spent several years in industry working as in-house counsel, where he advised predominately corporate clients across the full range of employment law and industrial relations and represented clients in employment tribunals across the country. Kevin has also gained several years experience in private practice working for a firm of City solicitors, where he advised and represented both individual and corporate clients. Latterly, Kevin has worked for the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, where as well as providing employment legal advice, he has been involved in lobbying on the TUPE regulations, carrying out staff/HR training, producing best practice guides and policy documents. A Director of Crossland from 2009 to 31 March 2017, Kevin is now a consulting barrister to the firm and undertakes most of their advocacy. Kevin is recommended in Legal 500 and Chamber Guide to the Legal Profession.

Michael Edwards

Michael Edwards

OSH Content Developer
Institution of Occupational Safety and Health

View Bio
Institution of Occupational Safety and Health logo

Michael Edwards

OSH Content Developer , Institution of Occupational Safety and Health

Michael is a Chartered Member of IOSH with over 15 years’ experience in the field. Graduating from the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (Now Cardiff Metropolitan University) with a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences, Michael was soon interested in the field of occupational safety and health (OSH). He has worked for a variety of organisations within his health and safety career, including 10 years working for Babcock International Group PLC as a Health and Safety Officer, Advisor and finally HSE Assurance Manager. He is currently working as an OSH Content Developer, writing high-level OSH content for the IOSH membership.

End of briefing

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