‘Our lives are still being dictated by draconian Government rules’ entrepreneur Simon Dolan hits out at ‘no jab no job’

Simon Dolan

Simon Dolan

Political commentator, serial entrepreneur and Founder of the Keep Britain Free movement Simon Dolan spoke to Business Leader about his disdain for the proposed ‘no jab, no job’ policy. He also discusses the current COVID-19 policies in the UK and the potential of mandatory vaccine passports.

Six weeks on from the long awaited ‘Freedom Day’ and, in reality, nothing has changed. Our lives are still being dictated by draconian Government rules and we couldn’t be further from pre-pandemic freedom. We still have to lock ourselves away for ten days if we get pinged for even being in the same building as someone who has tested positive. We are still expected to wear face masks on public transport and face needlessly stringent quarantine when returning from abroad – enough to put most of us from booking a summer holiday.

The notion of a ‘no jab, no job’ policy is absolutely ludicrous. The policy would introduce vaccination against COVID-19 as a pre-requisite to hiring, and some companies – such as Pimlico Plumbers – are introducing variations to staff contracts to require existing employees to be vaccinated as well. The introduction of such a mandate, which will essentially block people from their right to work, would be completely discriminatory against those who are unable to, or choose not to get the vaccine for personal reasons. Even the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the UK equality watchdog, has warned British employers to be careful about adopting blanket bans on unvaccinated workers. We simply can’t start ostracising people for their personal beliefs and creating new marginalized groups in society.

Employers will also have to consider the legal and practical risks where existing employees refuse the variation. If employees are fired for not taking the vaccine (and subsequent boosters), there is a strong possibility of claims for unfair and wrongful dismissal and discrimination in the Employment Tribunals. Clearly then, this policy is likely to cause more problems than it will solve.

On top of this, industries including travel, hospitality and events are already hanging by the skin of their teeth. Economic output in the hospitality sector alone was down 90% in April 2020 compared to February 2020. This recovered over the summer of 2020, boosted by easing coronavirus restrictions and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August, but was still below pre-pandemic levels. These industries were hit with another shock in September as Covid-19 cases rose and restrictions were re-imposed.

Mandatory vaccine passports will act as another barrier to getting the UK economy back on its feet and, if anything, will only bring more companies to their knees and force unemployment rates higher. In fact, it has already been suggested that over 70,000 care home staff in England could lose their jobs over such plans.

Furthermore, with the Government’s furlough scheme ending on 30 September, floods of workers will be returning to work full time. If no jab, no job is introduced, thousands of people who have been suffering from employment and financial insecurity over the last year may find themselves permanently out of work simply for not agreeing to inoculate themselves. Not only is this cruel, but it will significantly contribute to a rise in unemployment which the Bank of England is already predicting. Introducing such a policy is a slap in the face to furloughed workers who have been itching to get their lives back. It is quite simply, inhumane.

Being pro-choice should not be something which causes individuals issues. At the end of the day, our access to jobs and freedom shouldn’t hinge on mandatory vaccinations – it’s a basic right we each have and not something the Government can decide to give and take at will.

Covid cases continue their downward trend with the number of alerts sent by the NHS Covid-19 app falling 20 per cent in early August, yet Boris Johnson is still suggesting horrific curbs on individual freedoms. This begs the question, if they won’t restore full freedoms now, then when will they?

For us to move forward from the pandemic, we must be granted some element of personal responsibility and freedom of choice, rather than these absurd measures which will coerce us into a two-class society.