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Why does my employer offer free flu jabs?

Flu vaccination successfully reduces illness during the winter, and the illness can sometimes be very serious. In the UK, attitudes to flu are muddled by the fact that the vaccine is usually only offered free to people in designated “high-risk” categories – usually people at special risk from complications (check with your GP to see if you are entitled to free vaccination). In other countries, the situation is different. In the USA, for example, annual vaccination for healthy working adults is very much a routine, and is widely regarded as an important health benefit. Key workers, highly paid staff, those working in direct contact with the general public or in public places, staff in large open plan offices (i.e. sharing the same air) and staff who simply have caring employers, are among those generally offered free vaccination in the workplace. While there is certainly a benefit to employers in helping staff stay healthy, flu vaccination protects your leisure time and your family as well, and not just your ability to work. Don’t forget, the flu season begins at Christmas, and ends around the Easter break.

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