Staff2000 CORONAVIRUS VACCINE POLICY
A vaccine to prevent serious health effects from coronavirus has been developed and made available to the public. Special legal provisions have been made in relation to the uptake of the vaccine for workers in care homes in England.
The purpose of this policy is to set out the position on the vaccine as it affects our workforce and the measures that we are required to take.
B) LEGAL REQUIREMENT
People who work in some care homes are required by law to have the coronavirus vaccine. The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 sets out that the requirement applies to care homes which:
· Are located in England
· Are registered with the Care Quality Commission
· Have residents requiring nursing and personal care.
Our staff working in care home falls within the scope of the requirement and this policy is written in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations.
C) WHO DOES THE LEGAL REQUIREMENT APPLY TO?
Anyone working inside a care home must be fully vaccinated unless they are medically exempt. This includes the following, where they do any work inside a care home:
· Anyone directly employed by the care home
· Agency workers
· Full and part-time roles
It applies to all roles within the care home, whether actually providing direct care or not. It does not apply to workers under the age of 18.
In addition, it applies to anyone entering a care home to provide services, including maintenance and personal care services such as hairdressing, save for where a legal exemption applies. For example, when it is reasonably necessary for a person to enter premises to provide urgent maintenance assistance; where a person is attending premises in the execution of their duties as a member of the emergency services or when it is reasonably necessary for a person to provide emergency assistance in premises.
Anyone who works inside a care home is required to be fully vaccinated with effect from 11 November 2021 unless medically exempt whether permanently or temporarily. Where a temporary exemption applies, the requirement will apply upon its expiry.
From that date, working inside a care home in breach of this requirement is unlawful. This means that it is impossible for the care home to employ/continue to employ anyone who is not fully vaccinated or medically exempt from vaccination.
Our existing workforce are required to produce evidence of their vaccine status or medical exemption and you will be informed of the date that production is required by.
Any employee who fails to produce the necessary evidence will be invited to a meeting to discuss their plans in relation to the vaccine. There will be further opportunity during the meeting to produce evidence.
Continued failure to comply with the requirement to produce the necessary evidence will result in your dismissal if we are unable to redeploy you in an alternative role.
New recruits after 11 November 2021 will be required to provide evidence that they are fully vaccinated or medically exempt. Offers of employment made by Staff2000 will made conditional upon production of evidence to demonstrate full vaccination or medical exemption and such offers will be withdrawn if this evidence is not produced.
We will consider whether there is any other role within our organisation to which you can be redeployed which does not fall within the legal requirement to be vaccinated. This means that we will consider whether there is another job within our organisation that you are suitable for. Although all efforts will be made to identify a suitable alternative role, we are unable to guarantee that one will be available. Redeployment must be to a role which is carried out outside of our care home.
The availability of suitable alternative roles will be discussed with you and you will be given the opportunity to consider any that are suitable before deciding whether you wish to accept it.
In the event that the number of workers for whom we are considering redeployment is higher than the number of alternative roles available, we may need to consider an appropriate selection process.
Where there are no opportunities for redeployment, including where you are offered a suitable alternative role but do not accept it, we will have no other option but to terminate your employment. We wish to avoid this wherever possible therefore we strongly urge you to take up the opportunity of the vaccine in order to secure your continued employment with us.
F) MEDICAL EXEMPTION
Employees who are medically exempt are not required to have the vaccine and may continue to work in care homes.
We will continually assess the risks associated with Covid-19 in our care home and take appropriate safety measures to protect medically exempt employees from exposure. We will seek to agree any adjustments with relevant employees.
G) INDIVIDUAL CIRCUMSTANCES
It is normal that some of our workforce may have concerns about having the vaccine and that some may choose not to have it for a wide variety of reasons including religion. We respect each individual’s choice in this regard and will endeavour to seek suitable redeployment where this is possible in order to avoid terminating employment.
We encourage all of our workforce to make an informed decision by paying attention to official information sources such as the NHS. We would ask our employees to check the source of any information they read about the vaccine as we are aware that there is a certain amount of uncertified information available.
In addition, we will communicate with employees who are on long term absence, for example maternity leave or sickness absence, in relation to how the requirement affects them.
H) DATA PROTECTION
In order to comply with the legal requirement, we need to collect information about the vaccine status of our workforce. All data collected in relation to the legal requirement will be processed lawfully in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018.