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Vaccinations to become compulsory for care home workers

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

As of 11 November 2021, the Government has legislated that it will be mandatory for all care home workers in England to be vaccinated against COVID-19 – and the regulations will also extend to a variety of tradespeople who may need to visit care facilities.

The legislation, extensively known as The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities)(Amendment)(Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 will mean that unless individuals fall into one of the identified exemptions (for example: being the friend/family member of a care home resident or an emergency service worker), they will not be lawfully permitted to enter care home establishments.

In the event that individuals do not fit into any of the exempt categories, the care home provider must not allow them to enter unless they can provide evidence that:

  •  They have had a complete vaccination; or
  •  They cannot be vaccinated for clinical reasons (note: this does not extend to religious or philosophical beliefs).

The Government has given relevant employers in the care industry a period of 16 weeks to prepare for these changes by encouraging vaccinations, forewarning employees about the consequences of refusal, and as a last resort, arranging to bring new staff on board.

Undoubtedly there has been much discussion and speculation in recent months about the legalities of employers forcing their workforce to be vaccinated and it remains to be seen as to whether this legislative change will be a turn in the tide and potentially open the floodgates for employers in other industries who want to follow suit

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