If you’re familiar with our work, you’ll know that we manage the HR in many Care Homes, and one of the issues that keep cropping up are mandatory or compulsory vaccines.
Compulsory vaccination in the care home
COVID-19 still plays a vital part in the workplace, and it is still a concern for many businesses and its employees and issues should still be managed with care and empathy along with a risk assessment completed and adhered to. This is the case for many workplaces but the medical and care sector especially.
As you may be aware, from the 11th November 2021, it will be law in England for all those working in a care home to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless medically exempt. This is in attempts to control the virus where we saw it most drastically spread last year.
Fully vaccinated meaning the employee has received two doses of the vaccination however, the booster doses are not included in the regulations.
Those who do not normally work in the care home sector but will be conducting work onsite such as training will also need to be fully vaccinated.
Those coming onsite for an interview will also need to be fully vaccinated.
What do you do if an employee refuses to be vaccinated?
If employees are not fully vaccinated by this date, they will face dismissal as it is a legal requirement.
Steps should be taken to avoid dismissal such as making the employee aware of the new law and the consequences of not being vaccinated or, looking for alternative suitable work which does not take place within the care home itself.
The employee will not be able to make an unfair dismissal claim if they are not medically exempt and refuse the vaccination. The employee does not have to be vaccinated but they will not be able to work in the care home if they choose not to.
Compulsory Vaccination for those entering a care home
The law in England to be fully vaccinated also extends to all entering a care home not just employees. Visitors will need to provide evidence of their vaccination on their first visit, and then a record should be kept of all visitors and their vaccination status by the care home, so they do not have to keep proving their status.
Appropriate evidence is the COVID Pass on the NHS app or the letter from the NHS.
These regulations also apply to the CQC and anyone entering the care home from this body will also have to be fully vaccinated unless medically exempt.
Care homes with multiple entrances should have just one check in point in order to establish the vaccination status.
It is worth noting that the law does not apply to the grounds of the care home – just inside.
Who does not have to be fully vaccinated?
The exemptions for those entering a care home are:
- Care home residents
- Medically exempt
- Emergency assistance
- Urgent maintenance
- A friend or relative of a resident
- Visiting a resident who is dying or to comfort someone after a death
- Those under the age of 18
The NHS COVID Pass lets you share your coronavirus vaccination records or test COVID-19 status in a secure way. This pass will then allow you to gain entry into events and travel abroad.
You now need a Covid vaccination certificate to enter nightclubs, adult entertainment venues and many large events in Scotland.
These include indoor events with more than 500 people; Unseated outdoor events with more than 4,000 people; Any event with more than 10,000 people.
You can only get the passport if you have been fully vaccinated in Scotland. Proof of a recent negative Covid test is not enough.
In Wales, you will need to Pass to either show full vaccination status or a negative test for nightclubs, unseated indoor live events for more than 500 people, unseated outdoor live events for more than 4,000 people and any event for more than 10,000 people.
In England, the government has decided not to go ahead with vaccine passports, which had been planned for the end of September. It will be voluntary for organisers of events to implement the need for a COVID Pass.
Over-16s can also get the NHS Covid Pass for foreign travel if they’ve had two vaccine doses. Alternatively, they’ve had a positive PCR test result in the past six months and finished self-isolating. This pass lasts for 180 days.
Northern Ireland does not have a formal vaccination passport scheme but is still used for foreign travel.
For more compliance information, get in touch! You can contact us via our online form. Alternatively, you can give is a call on: 0330 400 5490.
Currently practising all the aspects of Human Resources including employee rights, discrimination, how to manage grievances and disciplinaries.