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Justice Secretary backs ‘no jab, no job’ policy but warns against ‘blanket approach’

COVID-vaccine

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has backed the introduction of ‘no jab, no job’ policies by care home providers while stressing the need to demonstrate a “clear rationale”.

Mr Buckland’s comments to the BBC come after a number of leading care home providers, including Care UK and Barchester Healthcare, announced they were adopting the policy.

The Justice Secretary said that providers must demonstrate a “clear rationale” behind their actions, however, and warned against a “blanket approach”.

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He said: “Future contracts and contracts of employment are indeed matters between employers and employees. I think that where such conditions are imposed there needs to be a very clear rationale for them.

“In a care home, a closed environment where there are vulnerable residents, I would argue there does seem to be an obvious rationale.

“I think it will depend very much on each setting and the particular context. That is why I don’t think it would be right to say there can be a blanket approach here because we need to go back to the fundamental fact that vaccines are not compulsory here in the UK.”

NHS Statistics as of 21 February show that just 71.5% of care home staff in elderly are homes in England have received their first jab with take up lowest in London (54.8%).

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history, and so far our heroic health and care staff have vaccinated over 20 million people.

“We have visited every eligible care home in England, offered vaccines to all staff and are doing everything we can to ensure all those who can, do so. All eligible staff, including domiciliary care workers, can book their vaccination using the national booking service.

“We have introduced measures specifically designed to increase uptake of the vaccine including working with local leaders in communities with lower take up to maximise vaccination numbers and save thousands of lives.”

Tags : Legal Advicevaccination
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The author Lee Peart

2 Comments

  1. As care home residents have been locked in for a year, and it is continuing, I think it fundamentally has to be that all staff working in care homes have to be vaccinated. It is not fair to keep locking down homes each time there is an outbreak, and clients mental health and wellbeing is much more important.

  2. I am 100% behind the rationale of care home staff being vaccinated unless there is a fundamental health condition behind their decision. Care Homes are not prisons and the elderly and frail are normally placed within a care home to keep them safe and well, addressing any clinical, or mental health, illness the resident may have, whilst allowing residents freedom to meet up with family and friends. This addresses the balance of well-being for all concerned, including the carers working within a care home environment. To allow care home residents to be able to move around freely once Public England state they can, albeit cautiously at first, is a fundamental right of all human beings.

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