In August, The Department of Health and Social Care announced that vaccination would become a condition of employment in care homes from 11 November and that those unwilling to get vaccinated would face dismissal, unless they are exempt. However, with that deadline fast approaching, care home providers have been left without any guidance on key issues.
James Sage, Employment Partner and Head of Social Care at Royds Withy King comments.
“One of the major problems with DHSC’s guidance is that it fails to provide clarity around what counts as a medical exemption and how staff can evidence it. Further guidance has been promised but has still not materialised.
“Until exemptions guidance is published, providers cannot properly consult with staff asserting an exemption. Consultation processes are being delayed, and care provider’s face significantly increased costs in having to pay in lieu of notice for staff who are found not to be exempt.
“The DHSC has also failed to provide guidance on how to obtain evidence of vaccination from staff vaccinated abroad with a UK authorised vaccine. Providers run the risk of not being able to employ these fully vaccinated staff after 11 November, thereby unnecessarily increasing the risk of losing staff from the sector.
“We are calling on the DHSC to provide the much-needed guidance as a matter of urgency.”