Have the Covid vaccine or face unemployment, health and care staff are to be told

Workers who can prove they are medically exempt from getting the vaccine will not be affected.

Matt Bodell
16 June 2021
Close up of nurse hanks giving vaccine to patient in clinic.

Workers in England are expected to be given 16 weeks to have the vaccine.

Health and care staff in England are to be told to have the COVID-19 vaccine or face losing their job.

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According to reports, health and care staff in England are expected to be given 16 weeks to have the vaccine or face being redeployed away from frontline care or lose their jobs entirely.

The move, first reported in the Guardian, is expected to be announced by the government in the next few days.

Workers who can prove they are medically exempt from getting the vaccine will not be affected.

An informed choice.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has said that while staff must be able to make an informed choice, they have a responsibility to protect patients and the public.

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RCN Acting General Secretary and Chief Executive, Pat Cullen, said: “The RCN believes that making the vaccine easily available is the best way to increase uptake and continue to encourage all nursing staff to have the vaccine.

“Health and care staff must be supported to make an informed choice about taking the vaccine.”

“It is inherent, however, within the Nursing and Midwifery Council code that nursing staff take measures to protect their patients and the public against serious illness as a professional responsibility

Strongarming workers.

GMB National Officer Rachel Harrison said:  “Carers have been at the forefront of this pandemic, risking their lives to keep our loved ones safe, often enduring almost Victorian working standards in the process.

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“The Government could do a lot of help them; address their pay terms and conditions, increasing the rate of and access to contractual sick pay, banning zero hours and ensuring more mobile NHS vaccination teams so those working night shifts can get the jab.

“Instead, Ministers are ploughing ahead with plans to strongarm care workers into taking the vaccine without taking seriously the massive blocks these workers still face in getting jabbed.

“This looks like another potential avoidable mess. We’ve told Ministers that more than a third of our members in social care would consider packing their jobs in if vaccines were mandated. They can’t now say they weren’t warned.”

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