COVID Vaccinations For Care Workers

The 11th November 2021, is the date that it will be a legal requirement for registered persons, namely those registered as providers or managers with Care Quality Commission (CQC), to ensure that only people that are fully vaccinated against COVID 19 are permitted to enter a care home, unless they fall into one of the specified exemptions or there is an emergency.

There are however, some exceptions, these include: 

  • It is reasonably necessary for a person to provide emergency assistance within the care home
  • It is reasonably necessary for a person to provide urgent maintenance assistance to the care home; 
  • The person is visiting a service user who is dying 
  • It is reasonably necessary for the person to provide comfort or support to a service user in relation to a service users bereavement following the death of a friend or relative; or
  • The person is under the age of 18

 

The CQC have also confirmed that they will not begin monitoring this until the date that the legislation comes in on 11th November 2021 as this is when it will be a legal requirement for care home workers to be vaccinated unless they are exempt. 

The Department of Health & Social Care has issued some operational guidance on preparing for this change for registered persons of CQC regulated care homes which can be found here

Would a failure by an employee to comply with the requirement justify dismissal?

Whilst it can be seen as a potentially fair reason to dismiss an employee if their continued employment contravenes a duty or restriction imposed by statute, any such dismissal also requires to be “fair” having regard to, among other things “equity and the substantial merits of the case” (s.98(4)ERA 1996). If you are dismissing an employer on the basis of non-vaccination it may be challenged by employees that have more than two year’s service.

At CP Law Associates are employment lawyers can provide you with advice if you are an employer and asking your team to take the vaccine, or whether you are an employee that feels like you are being made to take the vaccine. We can provide you with legal advice for employers and employees when it comes to COVID 19 vaccinations at work.

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