There have been pages and pages of speculation in recent months regarding the government’s and indeed employer’s approach to vaccinations and whether staff will be forced to have them. Indeed, I myself have kept a close eye on the topic and have written several articles on the subject.

The latest government leak has revealed that Health Secretary Matt Hancock is considering legislation that would legally require care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The review follows pressure from care homeowners where uptake for the vaccine is low.

In response to this leak, the government has (predictably) come out and said no final decision has been made. If I were to have a punt, I would suggest this move is a matter of when and not if. Once the vaccine rollout is complete, expect the government to make their move here.

Nonetheless, it raises complex questions such as, what do providers do with pregnant staff? What if someone refuses on religious or medical grounds?

Can I sack someone who refuses to have the vaccine?

Large providers are already making moves with Barchester Healthcare, which runs more than 200 care homes already coming out publicly and stating that it will refuse to hire new staff who refuse the vaccine on non-medical grounds.

Where can I get more advice on this subject or any other Employment Law/HR issues?

Lloyd Clarke is a Partner of Attwells Solicitors LLP and heads up the firm’s Employment Law Department. Lloyd already has a number of ECA members as clients, regularly providing them with legal advice on those issues affecting the care sector. Lloyd operates flexible funding arrangements, including popular retainer packages, fixed fees, and reduced hourly rates.

At Attwells we are a long-standing commercial partner of ECA and offer exclusive discounts to ECA members. Lloyd also regularly delivers workshops and talks to ECA members. Lloyd works closely with Age UK, with Attwells enjoying ‘Platinum Friend’ status in recognition of their work with the charity.

If you have any queries regarding the Supreme Court decision or any other employment law or HR issues, contact Lloyd Clarke on 01206 239761 for a free consultation. 

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