“The meeting was a good opportunity for employer representatives, government and unions to agree on the need to get the vaccination rate up," Innes Willox Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group said today.

"The meeting was told that businesses seeking to mandate vaccinations should obtain legal advice to ensure any such decision was lawful and reasonable. It cemented the view for us that it would be employers who would need to decide if they were on secure legal ground to mandate in the absence of rare COVID vaccination health orders.

"The meeting also agreed that consultation is important in getting vaccination rates up. Each business has its own circumstances and needs, and each employer has an obligation to protect the health and safety of its workers and customers.

"Mandating of vaccinations will not be appropriate in all workplaces, but it will be for some. It will not be surprising if more businesses that are public facing or have workers in close proximity announce decisions to mandate vaccinations over the months ahead.

"This remains a complex issue for employers who have to balance public safety, workplace safety and reputational risks. Many employees are also pushing for vaccine mandates in the interest of their own health and safety,” Mr Willox said.

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