We are aware some users might find it difficult to log into our site today. We are working on this issue and hope to have it resolved shortly.
News

COVID-19: up to employers to rehire unjabbed staff who lost jobs

Government message follows scrapping of mandatory jabs for front-line health and care staff

Government message follows confirmation from the health department that the COVID-19 jab will no longer be a condition of employment from 15 March

Decisions on rehiring staff who lost their jobs because they did not get the COVID-19 jab are a matter for individual employers now mandatory vaccination has been scrapped.

This was the message from the government following the decision to remove the requirement for front-line health and social care staff to be double jabbed.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) confirmed this week that vaccination would no longer be a condition of employment as of 15 March.

Government message follows confirmation from the health department that the COVID-19 jab will no longer be a condition of employment from 15 March

Rally held in central London on 22 January where people protested against mandatory COVID-19 jabs for all front-line NHS workers
Rally held in central London on 22 January where people protested against mandatory COVID-19 jabs for all front-line NHS workers. Picture; Alamy

Decisions on rehiring staff who lost their jobs because they did not get the COVID-19 jab are a matter for individual employers now mandatory vaccination has been scrapped.

This was the message from the government following the decision to remove the requirement for front-line health and social care staff to be double jabbed.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) confirmed this week that vaccination would no longer be a condition of employment as of 15 March.

The move followed a consultation where 90% of more than 90,000 participants said they wanted to see mandatory vaccination overturned.

Policy U-turn too late for staff unlikely to return to their old jobs, say healthcare providers

A spokesperson for DHSC told Nursing Standard it was now up to employers to decide whether or not to re-employ staff who had been dismissed or resigned due to the regulations. It suggested organisations may want to seek independent legal advice.

However, providers say the policy U-turn has come too late with staff unlikely to return to their old jobs.

Thousands working in care homes are thought to have quit or lost their jobs after vaccination was made a condition of employment in care settings last November.

Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group, which represents private and voluntary sector providers, said: ‘We warned many good, kind and caring professional staff would be lost to the policy and that proved to be the case. Most of those we will never get back.’

There are fears NHS nurses and other healthcare staff may also have decided to leave ahead of the original 1 April deadline for them to get both vaccinations.

Others may have felt pressured into getting vaccinated when they did not want to for fear of losing their jobs.

Health secretary says mandatory jabs no longer proportionate due to milder Omicron variant

The government announced its intention to scrap mandatory vaccination across health and care settings at the end of January this year, when it advised employers not to serve notice on employees who had chosen not to get the jab.

In a ministerial statement this week, health and social care secretary Sajid Javid stressed the policy was right at the time to protect the most vulnerable from COVID-19, but was now no longer proportionate due to the emergence of the milder Omicron variant.

The impact on the health and social care workforce was a factor in the government’s decision. The government’s consultation response states: ‘Revoking these vaccination requirements is likely to have a beneficial impact on workforce numbers.’

The DHSC said staff had a professional responsibility to get vaccinated and employers should continue to encourage and support them to do so.


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first three months:

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Emergency Nurse
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs