Preparing for mandatory vaccines in the care sector

As you undoubtedly know by now, on 16 June, the government confirmed that compulsory COVID-19 vaccinations will be introduced in the residential care sector. The new laws will apply from October 2021, with a 16-week grace period between the law coming into force and the need for care sector workers to be vaccinated.

This means that as of 11 November, it will be unlawful for care homes to permit care workers to enter their premises without proof of full vaccination.

 

Keeping compliant

Care home providers covered by the legislation will need to keep records of vaccinations and exemptions of all workers (including full time, part time, agency staff and volunteers) for the purposes of CQC inspections.

Should the Government introduce a vaccination “booster” requirement in the future, workers will also be required to receive those additional vaccinations.

 

Existing employees

Existing employees will need to provide you with proof of vaccination or proof of clinical exemption on or before 11 November 2021. If they have not completed a full course of vaccination, they will no longer be permitted to enter your premises and it will be extremely difficult to continue with employment/engagement.

 

Acceptable forms of clinical exemption

A letter from a General Practitioner and/or any practising specialist medical professional whose care you are under, explaining the reasons why you are medically/clinically exempt and whether it is anticipated that the exemption is temporary or permanent

We do not think you need to issue new employment contracts for your existing employees, but it is essential that you communicate with them.

 

Employment contracts and offer letters for new hires

When recruiting new employees into your care home, we suggest including some contractual wording in your employment contracts and proof of vaccination/exemption in your offer letters.

You can access this wording for free, including a template employment contract and template standard offer letter by signing up to Primed, our online system for our 12-month free trial.

 

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