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February/March 2021 (vol. 17/5)

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Expert Witness: Covid-19: a legal Q&A

Answers to key OH legal questions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccinations

Summary:

The COVID-19 pandemic and, more recently, vaccinations to help prevent coronavirus infection, have thrown up some important legal issues affecting workers and businesses. OH law expert Professor Diana Kloss answers your questions.

Can an employee refuse to attend the workplace because they argue that their ‘clinical vulnerability to COVID-19’ puts them at serious risk to their health and safety? What if their reason for refusing to attend work isn’t based on clinical vulnerability but on their anxiety around COVID-19? And does it make any difference if the workplace is or is not ‘COVID-secure’?

An employee who is ordered by his employer to attend for work during the COVID-19 pandemic may refuse because he is afraid of contracting the virus. Recently, a trade union advised members in this situation that they might take advantage of sections 44 and 100 of the Employment Rights Act 1996….

Prof Diana Kloss is a barrister, former part-time employment judge, Acas arbitrator and author.

Author: Kloss D

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Occupational Health at Work February/March 2021 (vol. 17/5) pp36-38

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