Compulsory Vaccination in Care Homes

The UK Government has now passed The Health and Social Care Act 2008 which will require care home staff to have received a full course of an authorised covid-19 vaccine before entering care home premises.

The compulsory course of vaccination requirement will not extend to:

(a) those residing in care homes;

(b) those providing necessary emergency assistance in a care home setting;

(c) those carrying out emergency maintenance in a care home setting;

(d) a member of emergency services;

(e) friends or relatives of those residing in a care home;

(f) to anyone visiting a care home resident who is dying;

(g) to anyone providing necessary comfort or support following bereavement of a friend or relative in a care home setting; and

(h) anyone under the age of 18.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has confirmed that there will be no exemption for staff who object to vaccination on religious grounds.

The law will come into force on 11th November 2021.

How should your business prepare

If you are an owner of a care home, in readiness of the upcoming change in law you should urgently implement any necessary systems and policies relating to mandatory vaccinations (including any future booster vaccinations, exemptions, recruitment policies, systems for obtaining evidence, etc.).

You should issue the new policies to all staff members provided that they fit the above criteria and make them aware of any possible consequences of not complying with the new introductions to the law.

Dismissals/Timing

While engaging in dismissal consultations with employees who refuse to comply with the regulations it is important to consider the employee’s notice period if you conclude that a dismissal is necessary and consider there to be no alternatives to dismissal. For instance, employees whose notice period is 12 calendar weeks would need to be served with a formal notice of dismissal in early August of 2021 in order to be within the timeframe of the legislative process.

We’re here to help your business with any employment law challenge. Get in touch with a member of the team today on 0161 833 5667 or email Russell.Brown@Glaisyers.com

 

Russell Brown

Author Russell Brown

Russell is a Partner and Head of Glaisyers' Employment Team.

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