Compulsory Vaccination for Care Home Workers – legislation coming into force in November

3 August 2021 by

The government has passed legislation compelling care homes to ensure almost all workers are vaccinated against Covid-19. It comes into force on 11 November 2021, and applies to England only.

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 state that a care home provider must ensure that nobody enters care homes unless they fall into one of the identified exceptions.

The main ones are:-care home residents, friends and relatives of care home residents, emergency help providers (eg ambulance, emergency plumber) and children under 18.

If someone does not fall into one of the identified categories, the care home must not allow them entry unless they provide evidence that:- 

they have completed a course of an approved Covid vaccine;
or, for clinical reasons they cannot be vaccinated.

Some points to note: only those who cannot be vaccinated for clinical reasons are exempt. Religious and philosophical beliefs do not suffice. As well as workers, the Regulations ban a large variety of tradespeople who might need to visit a care home.

There is a 16 week period before the Regulations come into force; this is to allow care homes to encourage its workers to get vaccinated, warn of the consequences if they do not, and arrange alternative staffing to replace those who refuse. Compulsory vaccination is one of the three topics.

There will be a Zoom presentation on 6 September 2021 by Daniel Barnett of During it, you will learn:

– the seven common objections staff have to vaccination, and how to overcome them,
– whether dismissal for refusal to vaccinate because of health concerns is discriminatory
– whether dismissal for refusal to vaccinate because of pregnancy or breastfeeding is discrimination
– whether dismissal for refusal to vaccinate because of a anti-vax, or ethical vegan, or similar philopsophical belief is discrimination
– whether employers can compel existing employees and job applicants to tell you if they’ve been vaccinated
– the nine ‘reasonable’ steps for all employers under the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
– more about compulsory vaccination at care homes, and the steps care homes need to take to ensure any dismissals are fair

We have reposted this report with the kind permission of its author, Daniel Barnett. Daniel is an employment law barrister at Outer Temple Chambers in London, a presenter on LBC Radio, and a leading speaker on the national and international lecture circuit.

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