Letter to employers re: requesting vaccine data from staff

Written by: Miri
June 24, 2021
 | One Comment

Dear Sirs,

I am a [job role] at [company name], having occupied my current position for [number of] years.

I have very much enjoyed my time here thus far and have an excellent record of service.

I am writing to you today because I have received a number of electronic communications that I find very alarming. I would like to bring the nature of my concerns to your attention, in an attempt to assuage them and seek more clarity.

I have been asked via email, and on several occasions, to fill in an electronic form stating whether I have received a Covid-19 vaccination, how many doses I have received, and when I have received them.

This is extremely sensitive medical information, of a highly personal and confidential nature, so if my employer - or anyone else - is going to ask me to divulge it, I do require a very compelling explanation clarifying why they would like to know. 

As I have been provided with no such explanation, I am naturally concerned there may be negative ramifications for me, based on how I respond. If I were to state that I have not received a Covid-19 vaccination and have no current plans to do so, will this have implications for my continued employment with [company name]?

The press has reported that some employers are exploring the possibility of "no jab, no job" clauses for employees, yet human rights and medical ethics watchdogs have warned against this in the strongest possible terms - as multiple human rights treaties, including the Nuremberg Code (1) and UNESCO's Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (2) make it abundantly clear that consent to medical procedures must be voluntary, and free of all coercion. Clearly, making the retainment of employment dependent on vaccination status would represent an immense level of coercion, and therefore would be illegal under national and international law.

If [company name] is not considering predicating employment on vaccination status, then the issue is even more unclear regarding why they are asking for this information at all. 

As well as it being deeply disconcerting to be asked to volunteer such personal details with no clarificatory information regarding why this is being requested, are the data protection implications. The GDPR makes it very clear that when personal information is being collected and stored, it must be made explicit to those who are volunteering the information who will have access to it, why, and where and for how long this information will be stored.

None of this has been communicated to me, nor, to the best of my knowledge, to any other member of staff. Nevertheless, managers have made repeated verbal requests that we fill in these forms, implying that we are obliged to do so, even in the absence of the appropriate GDPR protocols having been followed.

I am also in receipt of emails from managers, asking us to fill in these forms, and stating that, if we have not booked our vaccinations yet, we ought to do so as soon as possible.

I find this deeply unethical and inappropriate. Personal health and medical background is perhaps one of the most sensitive areas of information there is, which is why doctor-patient confidentiality is considered so paramount throughout the medical profession. The details of my health are private, and between me and my chosen healthcare provider, a professionally trained individual who is privy to my entire medical history and therefore properly placed to give me appropriate medical advice.

Managers and other colleagues at [company name] are not healthcare professionals, and have no knowledge of the medical histories of either myself, nor any other member of staff. Therefore, they are completely unqualified to be dispensing medical advice, or to be instructing us on what medical products we should or should not be receiving. 

It is up to every adult to make medical decisions for themselves, based on adequate knowledge, and free from any kind of coercion or pressure from other parties - especially parties who are not qualified to be providing medical advice.

I am sure you can appreciate the nature of my concerns, and why I find the repeated focus on my vaccination status inappropriate and invasive, as well as being possibly illegal in terms of GDPR breaches. 

I appreciate [company name] is well-intentioned and simply wants to provide a safe and comfortable atmosphere for staff, however, I do feel that this is not the way to do it.

I would greatly appreciate a swift response addressing my concerns, detailing why information about my vaccination status is being requested and with whom this information will be shared, and assuring me that my employment will neither now, nor in the future, become dependent on my vaccination status.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,



1) https://www.bmj.com/content/313/7070/1448.1

2) http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=31058&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

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