A leading Shropshire employment lawyer has alerted care home owners that they must not sidestep the Government’s expected compulsory vaccination programme for frontline care home workers.
The warning comes from Sally Morris as senior Whitehall figures are rumoured to be preparing to announce within days that care workers are to be given 16 weeks to have their Covid-19 vaccines – or risk being redeployed or lose their jobs.
The Department of Health and Social Care has recently completed its six-week consultation on mandatory vaccination requirements within the care home sector.
Ms Morris, partner and head of employment at Telford and Ludlow law firm mfg Solicitors, said: “We have been waiting for some time now on the first steps to introduce mandatory Covid-19 vaccines.
“Given the Government was concerned about the low uptake by care home staff when the vaccine programme was launched, it looks very likely that the care home industry will be the first in line for compulsory jabs.
“What is really important for care home groups, owners and employees to understand is that there will be no choice – frontline workers will be forced to have the vaccine within a certain timeframe, reported to be 16 weeks.
“That will no doubt put pressure on management teams but they simply must take the right steps to ensure compliance. It will be an essential public health intervention which if not stuck to could lead to job losses at a time when we know the care home sector is struggling to recruit.
“Owners and operators must take advice as early as possible once the announcement comes through and if staff do refuse to have the jab. The consequences are vast.”
It is expected that care workers who are medically exempt from having a Covid-19 vaccine will not be affected.
In England’s care industry more than 40,000 deaths have involved Covid-19.