Book publisher Bloomsbury will make Covid vaccines compulsory for all of its employees returning to the office.
The Harry Potter publisher told its 700 staff it would introduce a mandatory vaccine policy as it unveiled plans for a return to the office two days per week.
The company had planned to resume office work two days a week from June 21 but delayed the return to July 19 after Boris Johnson pushed back the removal of remaining pandemic restrictions.
Bloomsbury is planning a full return to the office on September 7, the company told employees in an email earlier this month which included details of the vaccination policy, The Bookseller reported.
A spokesman for the publisher said: “The wellbeing of our staff has been our overarching concern in all our decisions since the start of the pandemic, including this one about vaccinations.
“We have made our own decision on requiring the vaccine for staff returning after our reopening date.
“We note that the national view on requiring vaccinations is itself evolving this week. In making our decision, we took both medical and scientific advice. The simple fact is that this virus is still extremely dangerous.”
Last month, Bloomsbury chief executive Nigel Newton paid tribute to two employees at its Indian division after they died from coronavirus.
Bloomsbury’s decision to require office staff to be vaccinated before they return to work has proved controversial. One pseudonymous publishing industry account on Twitter called the decision “outrageous” and “a violation of privacy.”
“It doesn’t address the (very valid) cultural and mental health barriers to vaccination, as well as the fact that people who don’t have rich/London-based families are more likely to be struggling with working from home,” the Publishing Real Tea Twitter wrote online.
Pimlico Plumbers introduced a “no jab, no job” policy earlier this year for its 400 workers.
Bloomsbury’s mandatory vaccination policy follows a Government announcement earlier this week that it will be compulsory for care home workers in England to be vaccinated.
Health secretary Matt Hancock called the decision a “sensible and reasonable step” and said the policy could be extended to NHS workers.