Leading care home operator Care UK has introduced a no jab, no job policy for recruiting new staff.
Barchester is also lobbying the Government for designated care home visitors to be prioritised for vaccination.
A Care UK spokesperson said: “We hope all colleagues, present and future, will see the benefits vaccination can bring to themselves, their families and the people living and working in our homes.
“For new recruits, we now ask at both the application and interview stage whether they have had, or would be willing to have, the vaccination. This means, right from the outset, that they are fully aware of the need for new colleagues to be vaccinated as a requirement we make to keep residents in our homes safe. So far this has not proved a barrier for those keen to build a career with us. This approach is becoming increasingly common across the care home sector.”
A poll of 194 care providers by legal firm Royds With King has found that almost three-quarters (73%) would like to make a COVID vaccination a condition of employment for new staff, including exceptions for those exempted on medical grounds.
More than half (53%) of care providers said they had vaccinated over 80% of staff, however, one in five said they had vaccinated just over 40% of workers.
The vast majority of those not vaccinated were due to staff being unwilling or unable to have the vaccine, although 78% of providers that up to 10% of unvaccinated staff had not been able to access jabs.
James Sage, Employment Partner and Head of Social Care at Royds Withy King, said: “These figures indicate how keen care providers are to protect the health and safety of their clients and workforce by ensuring that as many people as possible get vaccinated.
“In practice, fewer numbers are likely to move ahead with it now because of the risk it might hinder recruitment which is already incredibly challenging – 59% of providers reported that they do not have enough staff with a further 11% saying they have significant staffing gaps.”