Vaccine 'game changer' in kickstarting face-to-face advice

Vaccine 'game changer' in kickstarting face-to-face advice

Advice networks and firms have hailed the Covid vaccine as a ‘game changer’ in terms of returning to a normal way of working but have stopped short of making it mandatory for their IFAs to receive it.

Firms said they will continue to ensure all relevant precautions are taken and government advice is followed when they look to return to face-to-face advice but claimed the vaccine will make this easier to implement.

As things stand, more than 20m people have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine - more than 30 per cent of the UK population.

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The UK government is intending to offer a vaccine to all UK adults by the end of July.

Quilter Financial Planning said it will look at how it can start to allow more face-to-face meetings as the UK begins to move out of lockdown and more people are vaccinated.

A spokesperson for Quilter Financial Planning said: “Throughout the last number of months we’ve created and revised our virtual meeting process for our advisers and their clients and had significant success with this way of giving advice. 

“As we start to move out of lockdown, and more people become eligible for the vaccine, we will consider how our processes may change to allow more face-to-face meetings. 

“This will be in line with the government roll-out and client preference, and we will urge our advisers to get the vaccine when they are approached.”

Compulsory vaccinations?

There has been a debate recently about whether employers are allowed to insist that their employees are vaccinated before they can return to offices and a pre-Covid working environment.

But Philip Martin, managing director at Unique Financial Planning, said the firm would not compel either staff or self-employed advisers to supply this information.

However it has asked for and received vaccine statuses from its team already. 

Martin said: “With five offices, it is important information for us to establish the relative risks we may run in returning, in due course. 

“We are aware that some financial services employers are considering making changes to employment contracts to compel it, but our team is content to provide it voluntarily, knowing its clear purpose.”

Adviser network Tenet also said it would not insist its staff are vaccinated but will review this if government guidelines change.

Ben Wright, director of strategic development at Tenet said: “The vaccine looks like it will be a game changer in helping people back to work and getting the economy back on track and therefore we hope that the majority of people will opt to receive it. 

“With that said, it is an individual’s choice on whether they want to receive the vaccine or not and we won’t insist that any of our staff or advisers are vaccinated. 

“If government guidance changes, we will obviously review our position, as we have throughout the pandemic.”

At present, the majority of Tenet’s staff and advisers are working from home and it said it had “no plans to change this” until the government says it is safe to return to offices.