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Top Tips for asking Employees about Vaccination Status

View profile for Catherine Almeida
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Currently, vaccination is not mandatory in the UK apart from those who work in registered care homes in England. If you are in a non-mandatory sector and are considering asking staff about vaccination status, these are our tops tips.

Tip 1

We recommend to start by asking if employees will volunteer this information before you move to insisting upon it. The ICO would be more likely to regard your policy as proportionate if there is no mandatory element to it.

Tip 2

If you are going to retain any personal data from the check rather than just conducting a visual check, this would constitute processing of personal data and the UK GDPR would therefore apply.

As you will be processing special category data, there are data protection issues to consider. You must have both:

  • a standard lawful basis (Article 6(1)) and;
  • a special category lawful basis (Article 9)

Tip 3

Make sure that the reasons for recording employees' vaccination status are clear, necessary and transparent.

Employers should not record the data on a "just in case" basis, and it should not be kept for any longer than necessary. There should be special safeguards around the data, ensuring that employees are updated as to the data that is held.

Tip 4

Ensure that the collection of vaccination data does not result in any unfair or unjustified treatment of employees.

In situations where the use of vaccination data is likely to result in a high risk to individuals, such as a denial of employment opportunities, employers should complete a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA). This will help to determine whether the employer needs to collect the information.

Tip 5

Our last tip is to consider introducing a vaccination policy as it can help with:

  • Explaining and communicating your approach and preference to vaccination
  • Encourage vaccination
  • Handling workplace disputes around vaccination
  • Ensuring consistency
  • Setting out expectations in terms of discussing vaccinations. For example, your policy may say that employees are not permitted to ask about each other’s vaccination status to avoid the risk of claims under the Equality Act 2010 for harassment in relation to disability/religion/belief

If you would like to discuss vaccination status issues further, please do not hesitate to contact the Employment and HR team here at JCP Solicitors by calling 03333 208644 or email

This content does not constitute legal advice and is provided for general information purposes only.