The Government is expected to announce in the next few days that COVID vaccinations are to become compulsory for staff in care homes for older people in England. Details are currently limited, but it seems that affected staff will be given 16 weeks to have the vaccine or face being redeployed or lose their job.
What this means for affected care homes:
- Employers will need to have good recording systems showing who has had the vaccine and who has not
- They will need to hold meetings with employees who have not had the vaccine to find out why
- If an employee is not medically exempt, the employer should warn them that action will need to be taken if they don’t have the vaccine
- Employers should look for alternative non-frontline jobs for those that still don’t have the vaccine
- If no alternative jobs are available, then they look at terminating employment
Alan Price, CEO at BrightHR says: “Making the vaccine compulsory in some care homes could cause significant resourcing problems for affected employers if staff choose not to have the vaccine despite the possibility that they will lose their job and possibly even their chosen career.
“One important consideration for employers is that, if it comes to terminating employment, a full and fair procedure will still be needed. A change in the law on vaccines in this way does not mean an exemption from normal rules on achieving a fair dismissal.”