In the UK, many workers are concerned about losing their jobs if they refuse to get vaccinated against Covid-19 – however in Australia, one woman has been sacked for getting a COVID vaccination.
News.com.au reports that Laine Chait, a comedian, author and alternative medicine advocate who worked as a client care consultant for the Newcastle-based Church of Ubuntu, was let go from her job in October after the Church discovered she’d been vaccinated.
The organisation, which also operates as a wellness centre and sells medicinal hemp-based products, had previously sent out a letter saying that the vaccine went against its beliefs and values. In Ms Chait’s letter of dismissal, the Church refers to the government’s vaccination stance as ‘medical apartheid’ and states that no members are allowed to receive the jab.
Ms Chait, who suffers from epilepsy, said that although she disagreed with the Australian government’s vaccination stance, she felt compelled to have the vaccine because of her condition, and to be able to travel to visit her mother.
She said: "I wholeheartedly support choice when it comes to personal health choices. It was a very difficult decision for me to make to get the jab due to spending decades of my life devoted to not needing the assistance of western medicine."
Describing the sacking as a ‘kick in the teeth’ that had left her ‘back on the breadline', she accused the Church of hypocrisy, claiming that they still accept vaccinated customers, while rejecting vaccinated employees.
The Church offered her two weeks’ pay and said it would help her find employment selling the products with an affiliate, but she refused this offer. She now intends to focus on her podcast, loveyourdiagnosis.
The Church had not responded to comment requests from the Daily Mail at the time of publication.
In the UK, there have been no similar cases – but one in 10 British people remain unvaccinated, and concerns have been raised about employers introducing ‘no jab, no job’ measures in new or existing employment contracts. In December, the British government made it mandatory for frontline NHS and social care workers to be vaccinated against coronavirus.
However, although employers have a duty of care to keep their employees safe, which may lead them to consider the ‘no jab, no job’ option, there’s no blanket legal requirement for workers to receive coronavirus vaccinations. Any employer attempting to enforce this may open themselves up to the risk of constructive or unfair dismissal cases being brought against them. ACAS advises that employers should support staff in getting the COVID vaccination once it’s offered to them.