I work in a care home do I have to be vaccinated?
Following the government consultation and response, the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 (“Health and Social Care Amendment Regulations”) made on 22 July 2021 will come into force on 11 November 2021. These regulations will amend the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 to require workers deployed in Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated care homes to be fully vaccinated unless they are exempt.
The requirements will also apply to everyone who visits a care home including professionals such as healthcare workers, tradespeople, and hairdressers.
There is a 16-week grace period from when the regulations were made until they come into force, to enable workers affected by the new regulations time to receive both doses of the vaccine. The following workers will be exempt:
- Workers who cannot be vaccinated for clinical reasons;
- Those who are providing emergency assistance or urgent maintenance in the care home;
- Those under the age of 18.
Further operational guidance is expected to be published by the government.
Care home workers can expect their managers to start putting measures in place now so that they are ready when the Health and Social Care Amendment Regulations come into force on 11 November 2021. There should be a clear policy in place that deals with the exemptions and how you can evidence that you are exempt. The care home should discuss this policy with you and make you aware of the requirement to be vaccinated and what will happen if you refuse to be vaccinated and you are not exempt. If you do refuse to be vaccinated and you are not exempt then your employer will be able to dismiss you, however the dismissal will have to be with notice according to your contract.
If you have any queries regarding this article or need employment advice please contact a member of the Employment Team on firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 0118 951 6621.