The end of mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations in care homes

On 15 March 2022 new regulations will come into force that will revoke the legal requirement for workers to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 (unless exempt) to work in a CQC regulated care home.

These new regulations follow the U-turn in January by the Government to scrap the extension of the regulations that would have seen the legal requirement for frontline NHS and wider social care staff, in regulated settings, to be fully vaccinated from 1 April.

Instead, the Government’s position is now that staff are encouraged, based on their “professional responsibility”, to be vaccinated.

Employers will need to continue to follow Government guidance on what is expected from the health and social care sector as part of living with Covid-19. Employers in health and care settings are likely to be required to maintain strong infection prevention and control measures, including PPE, to mitigate the remaining risks posed by revoking the requirements.

Although this now means that no additional staff will need to be dismissed because of the mandate, there are still large numbers of staff that have already lost their jobs, or who have quit as a result of the mandate. It is considered unlikely that such staff will be asking for their old jobs back, with the likeliness that they have moved on and found jobs elsewhere outside of the sector. As a result ministers are now being asked to urgently address the health and social care workforce crisis which is undermining the ability to deliver care within the sector.

If you need any advice or assistance in relation to Covid-19 and the impact that it is having on the workforce within your care home, please contact Katie Maguire.

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