Mandatory vaccination for healthcare workers – “no longer proportionate”
After much speculation, the Health Secretary late yesterday announced that the Government will launch a consultation on ending the mandatory vaccination requirement as a condition of employment in health and all social care settings. Subject to the responses, the Government will seek to revoke the regulations.
What is the current situation?
The additional laws requiring and mandating this requirement have already been passed (on 6th January) therefore, technically speaking, further legislation will need to be made to actually amend/cancel the previous regulations.
In the meantime, employers of such staff are in a difficult position given the conflict between:
- The current regulations which mandate vaccination by 1st April – which are currently still in force and effect; and
- The Government’s announcement today that the position will be changed.
This is particularly pressing given that the cut-off for workers to receive their first vaccination is 3rd February if they are to meet the required double vaccination requirement by the deadline.
What should employers do?
We hope that the Government ensures that the consultation, and any action taken as a result, are dealt with swiftly in order to give employers time to prepare – regardless of the outcome.
However, in the meantime, we recommend that employers temporarily pause their consultation processes whilst the Government consultation is carried out.
Whether this announcement affects the mandatory care home vaccination legislation which came into effect on 1st November last year is unclear.
We will provide further updates once the consultation is launched.
Specialist legal advice for the healthcare sector
If you need help with this communication or any queries raised during this process, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with Cecily Donoghue, one of the specialist lawyers within our Healthcare Team. Please get in touch by calling 0117 906 9400 or email email@example.com. Alternatively, please complete our contact form.