As previously advised, the government has brought in a law that requires anyone who has to enter a CQC-registered care home for work from 11 November, must be fully vaccinated. This means those affected would have to have had their first dose by 16 September or face dismissal. Across North Yorkshire we know that there are about 350 workers affected across the public and private sectors. This number has come down in recent weeks, but still means 350 workers face being sacked on 11 November. As most of these will be care workers, this will add to the on-going staffing crisis in adult social care.
Perhaps in recognition of this ill-thought out plan, the government announced (at the last minute) an exemption scheme. Those who believe they are medically exempt, or women who are pregnant can now self-certify their exemption and continue working in a CQC-registered care home after 11 November.
One reason for this apparent U-turn is that the government has still not decided what would constitute a valid ‘medical exemption’ as to why someone cannot have the vaccination. This means that anyone can self-certify if they think they may qualify for a medical exemption. We assume that this could include someone who suffers with anxiety about having the vaccination.
The exemption will last for 12-weeks, not from when they submit the form but from when the government launches its long-awaited medical exemption NHS service.
We are advising members who have been given notice of dismissal because they are unable, or unwilling, to have the Covid vaccination to complete the self-certification form and hand it in to their manager immediately. Members should also contact the branch office as soon as possible.