Compulsory COVID Vaccination Regulations
With effect from 11 November 2021, the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 are amended to require care home employers in England to use only vaccinated staff in care homes, unless they have a medical exemption.
This requirement applies to care homes in England that:
• are registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC); and
• provide accommodation for residents who require nursing or personal care.
It will apply to all workers employed directly by the care home or care home provider (on a full-time or part-time basis), those employed by an agency and deployed by the care home and volunteers deployed in the care home.
From an employer’s point of view, it is very likely to be unlawful to continue to employ an individual who contravenes the requirement to have had two COVID vaccinations by 11 November.
If an individual agrees to have the vaccination but has not had both jabs by 11 November, the employee will have to stay away from the workplace by, for instance:
• Taking annual or short term unpaid leave; or
• Doing training that can be done from home or away from the workplace for a limited time.
Employers will need to redeploy an employee who would otherwise be working in breach of the vaccine requirement outside the care home. If redeployment is not possible, the employee will need to be dismissed, following a full and fair process.
Prior consultation and clear communication is key to any fair process and, in order to support employers, the following new document templates are now available:
• Invitation to Consultation Meeting for Care Home Staff that decline COVID Vaccination.
• Letter dismissing a care home employee after declining COVID Vaccination.
The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.