To show or not to show, that is the question – Should your Covid vaccine status be on your CV?

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In my role as Marketing Manager for Jobwise I often get sent CV’s via our website, and recently I saw something on one for the first time which shocked me a bit, and made me wonder if this is a sign of things to come. The candidate in question had put their name, address, and contact details, then straight underneath had put their Covid vaccine status. This included the kind of vaccine and the dates of which the candidate had both doses. It got me thinking, is putting information like this on your CV a good idea?

I asked the question on LinkedIn and was amazed at the response. Within the first two days of posting it had 700 votes, with over 28,000 views and counting. Currently around two thirds have voted no, it is not a good idea to have your Covid vaccine status on your CV.

Although personally I’m not sure whether I would have this information on my own CV, my initial reaction was that I thought it was quite a clever thing to do. This candidate had addressed the elephant in the room that a lot of people don’t openly talk about in work.

I don’t know the vaccine status of everyone I work with and I’m sure most of us are the same

I pictured a scenario where a candidate is being interviewed, and the interviewer happens to be someone who has been personally affected by Covid, so upon seeing this information on a CV is instantly more at ease as they know it is something they don’t need to worry about. But on the flip side, this could then create a subconscious bias where the interviewer favours the candidate who has openly declared this information about themselves compared to someone who has said nothing. The interviewer would not be able to just openly ask for this information without justifying the reasons behind it. This then opens up a whole can of worms around discrimination and favouring certain candidates over others.

According to the Information Commissioner’s Office:

‘Your reason for recording your employees’ vaccination status must be clear and necessary. If you cannot specify your use for this information and are recording it on a ‘just in case’ basis, or if you can achieve your goal without collecting this data, you are unlikely to be able to justify collecting it. You should also take into account that accepting the offer of a vaccine is a personal decision, which could be influenced by a number of factors’.

To sum up, this is an absolute minefield

A connection who commented on the LinkedIn poll but is from the USA, posted a screenshot of a job advert for a role over there, and it stated that the applicants must show full proof of vaccination to be considered.

The government in the UK have recently said that come the end of September, to gain entry to nightclubs and other crowded venues, all entrants must show full proof of double vaccination. Now if this comes to fruition remains to be seen, but if it does, I think it’s safe to say we could start to see some job ads including the same information, and more CV’s with vaccine status as a result. Time will tell.

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