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WEBINAR: Ridouts lays out legal requirements on mandatory vaccination

Gemma II

Leading health and social care solicitors, Ridouts, have laid out the legal position for care home providers following the implementation of mandatory COVID vaccination this week.

During a webinar yesterday, Ridouts solicitor Gemma Nicholas (pictured) provided detailed guidance on steps providers should take to ensure they are compliant with the legislation.

Gemma highlighted that the vaccination requirements applies to everyone coming into a care home in a working capacity, including volunteers and trade professionals.

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Exceptions are made for visiting family and family friends, emergency services, the under 18s and people undertaking urgent maintenance work.

Staff with a prescribed medical exemption are not required to be fully vaccinated. However, Gemma highlighted that anyone that has gained a self-certified exemption will need to obtain confirmation of this exemption through the formal process by 24 December.

She advised that providers should have updated policies and procedures and adapted processes to be in line with the legislation as well as having a system for checking and recording the vaccination or exemption of status of those coming into the home.

The solicitor said providers could avoid the dismissal of those who have signalled their intention to get vaccinated through the use of accrued holiday or paid or unpaid leave.

She also noted that employees who have been with a provider for at least two years have unfair dismissal rights and, regardless of time served, can bring a discrimination claim under the Equality Act 2010.

CQC

The solicitor said the CQC will be seeking assurances from providers that they have robust systems in place to monitor vaccinations of staff and those entering the home.

Assurances will also be sought from new managers that they are fully vaccinated or exempt and that they are aware of their duties under the regulation.

Gemma advised providers to keep their Capacity Tracker up to date on vaccination in case of an inspection and explained that they will not need to show the CQC evidence of vaccination or exemption itself but evidence of the systems and processes in place to ensure that individuals who enter the premises are fully vaccinated or exempt.

The CQC has said it will be ‘proportionate’ in its enforcement of compliance and will take at vaccination within a home ‘in the round’ while taking into account the overall level of service provided.

The DHSC has produced operational guidance to support implementation of the new regulations, which can be found here.

You can find see a recording of the webinar here.

 

Tags : COVID-19Legal AdviceRidoutsvaccination
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The author Lee Peart

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