I run a care home what do I do about vaccinations for staff?

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 employers should start putting measures in place now, so they are ready to implement the Health and Social Care Amendment Regulations on 11 November 2021. One of these steps would be to introduce a Covid-19 Vaccination Policy. This policy should deal with the exemptions and how a worker can evidence that they are exempt. The policy should then be introduced after discussion with your staff. If your staff refuse to have the vaccine and are not exempt then you will have to take steps to dismiss them before 11 November so as not to be in breach.

If you have any queries regarding this article or need employment advice please contact a member of the Employment Team on employment@rowberrymorris.co.uk or by telephone on 0118 951 6621.