November 12, 2021

What happens to all unvaccinated care home staff after 11th November deadline?

From 11th November, all social care workers will need to be double vaccinated. But how should employers in the industry approach this?

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s been agreed by heath officials that vaccinations are our best form of defence against the effects of the virus. The government set a mandatory deadline of 11th November for all social care staff to be double vaccinated.

Here’s what’s required:

All social care workers, including volunteers who have face-to-face contact with service users, will need to provide evidence they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to be deployed, under the new measures.

This aims to ensure patients and staff are protected against infection.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“Vaccines save lives and patient safety is paramount. Many of the people being treated in hospitals or cared for at home are the most vulnerable to COVID-19. We have a responsibility to give patients and staff the best possible protection. We have consulted closely with the sector and will introduce new regulations to ensure people working in healthcare are vaccinated from next spring.

“I want to thank everyone who works in health and social care for the amazing work they do. If you haven’t come forward for your jab yet, please do so. We are determined to support you in this process”.

So, what happens now the 11th November has passed?

Care providers can decide whether to allow affected people to self-declare that they’re medically exempt only until the 24th December. From 25th December, if you’re unable to get vaccinated, you’ll have to use the NHS COVID Pass in the same way that people who are fully vaccinated use it.

Some of the possible reasons for exemptions include the following:

  • People who are receiving end of life care where vaccination is not in the person’s best interests.
  • Anyone with learning disabilities or autistic individuals, or anyone with a combination of impairments where vaccination cannot be provided through reasonable adjustments.
  • A person with severe allergies to all currently available vaccines.
  • Those who have had an adverse reaction to the first dose (for example, myocarditis).

Can care home managers start to dismiss staff?

Care home managers can’t dismiss staff automatically, and must explore all available options first. This may include redeployment to other roles away from the care home residents, for example, at the head office. Any care home employees who still intend to have the vaccine but haven’t yet should be allowed to do so, and care homes may consider encouraging paid or unpaid leave until this has been completed.

Managers will need to set timescales that are clear to employees of their expectations and what are the possible consequences of not getting vaccinated in a certain time frame. This is to allow time to arrange a formal process should termination be deemed necessary.

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About the author

Stephen Johnson

About the author

Stephen Johnson

Stephen has over 25 years experience in private sector HR and management roles, working as a Manager for over 10 years and eventually moving into the financial services industry. In his current role as an HR Policy Review Consultant he develops, reviews and maintains our clients’ employment documentation. With extensive knowledge of management initiatives and HR disciplines Stephen is commercially focused and supports clients in delivering their business objectives whilst minimising the risk of litigation.

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