Posted by James Sage, Partner
Care providers facing impending staffing crisis following ‘no jab, no job’ decision
The Department of Health and Social Care has given social care providers 16 weeks to vaccinate all staff. All unvaccinated staff will have to be redeployed from frontline roles or face losing their job.
The decision will see care providers facing no option but to dismiss significant numbers of staff, further deepening the sector’s staffing crisis, warns social care lawyers Royds Withy King.
James Sage, Employment Partner and Head of Social Care at Royds Withy King, comments.
“There is increasing evidence towards the efficacy of the government’s vaccine programme, and it is perhaps understandable why the Government is set to make the vaccine mandatory for care home staff. However, the Government does not seem to have considered the catastrophic implications for staff retention and recruitment in the sector.
“Vaccine take-up by care staff varies across England. Nationally 80.4% of care home staff have had the vaccine, but recent data also indicates that 76 of 149 local authority areas do not have 80% of care home staff vaccinated, 17 local authority areas have less than 70% vaccinated and the lowest rate of uptake is 52.4%.
“The Government believes that those who choose not to take the vaccine can be redeployed, an approach adopted by the NHS, but that is simply not possible in the care sector. This decision will leave care providers with no option but to dismiss, on average, 20% of their workforce, and for some providers it would be significantly more.
“The prospect of losing such a significant proportion of care home staff when the sector is already facing a jobs crisis, with over 100,000 existing vacancies, increased restrictions on overseas recruitment, and growing demand for staff from retail, hospitality and leisure sectors emerging from lockdown, is unthinkable.”
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