Should my employer offer me a flu jab?

Whether your employer should offer you a flu jab will depend on the kind of work you do. Many healthcare and residential home staff are offered voluntary immunisation to protect staff and also any patients they come in contact with.

Frontline healthcare workers are more likely to be exposed to the flu virus, especially during the winter months and employer organisation NHS Employers has estimated that up to 1 in 4 healthcare workers may become infected with influenza during a mild influenza season – a much higher incidence than amongst the general population. For more information, see the NHS Employer flu fighter webpage.

Some employers offer the flu vaccine because it is cheaper for them than having staff off ill because of flu, in which case it's up to them whether they offer it to their staff or not.

The vaccine is recommended for elderly people and some people with asthma, diabetes, a heart condition or a reduced immune system. The flu vaccine is best given in early autumn and will only give immunity to those flu strains that are known about that year.