The UK Government recently introduced a secondary piece of legislation called “The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021“.
The title doesn’t give much away, but this is the mechanism by which the government is attempting to mandate covid-19 vaccination for care home workers and other people who visit care homes in a work capacity.
We say “attempting” because the regulations actually fly in the face of existing, primary legislation including The Health and Social Care Act 2008 itself and it is only a matter of time before they are challenged in the courts.
Many care home workers are now being, or feeling, pressured to have a covid-19 vaccination in order to keep their jobs. This is not acceptable, is unlawful and if allowed to continue would set a worrying precedent that could be extended out to just about any industry or the population as a whole.
The principle of voluntary and informed consent to any medical intervention or treatment is enshrined in the NHS Charter, numerous pieces of legislation and common law. It cannot simply be swept aside by the stroke of a junior minister’s pen.
We are not in a position to offer formal legal advice, however we suggest the following course of action:
- Do NOT have a covid-19 vaccination if you are at all concerned about the risks, or are only having it in order to keep your job;
- Do NOT hand in your notice;
- Download, personalise and send the Care Home Worker letter provided below – including the PDF that explains your legal rights and the law in more detail for both you and your employer;
- If your employer continues to demand either vaccination or details of your exemption from vaccination, find a suitably experienced employment solicitor – the Law Society has a directory searchable by area of law
- If you are a member of a union, speak to your union representative about the situation and to see if there is financial support for pursuing a legal case;
- If any of your colleagues are in the same position, consider joining forces to share the cost of a solicitor.
While we cannot guarantee the success of the letter, or any subsequent action you may pursue through a solicitor, we believe this is a better option than immediately submitting to being vaccinated under duress, or being forced to leave a career that you love.
Download the template letter: Letter for Care Home Workers-re Covid-19 Vaccination
Download the explantory notes: Explanatory Notes for Care Home Managers and Owners