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Government to announce that all NHS frontline staff must be vaccinated

Alan Price, CEO - BrightHR

The Government are set to announce that all NHS frontline staff must be vaccinated against Covid-19.

The deadline is the 31st March 2022 meaning all employees must have had their first jab by the 6th of January.

92% of NHS workers have received at least one dose of the vaccine meaning 100,000 staff may lose their jobs.

Currently there are 93,000 vacancies advertised within the NHS. A mass exodus of staff would double the strain currently placed on the service.

The change will also impact all providers who deliver CQC regulated activities. This means dentists, rehab care workers, and mental health professionals will all need to prove that they are fully vaccinated unless exempt.

Two thirds of NHS bosses support mandatory vaccinations but some fear it could lead to an increase in resignations leaving services understaffed during the difficult winter months.

Staff have also been strongly urged to receive the flu jab and there have been some calls to mandate this. However, it is unlikely that this will be announced tomorrow.

Alan Price CEO of BrightHR said: “The introduction of mandatory vaccines for frontline health and social care staff is likely going to cause huge HR headaches. Staff may be reluctant to get vaccines and choose to raise grievances against their employers.

“Some trade unions have even threatened legal action following the introduction of a similar requirement in care homes earlier this year. Employers must be prepared to track and manage what vaccines employees have had and ensure they understand that correct process to follow, to reach fair redeployments and/or dismissals where necessary.

“It’s likely there will be a heightened focus on redeployment opportunities to avoid widespread resignations and dismissals. As such, HR teams may want to pro-actively consider available vacancies they could consider as suitable alternatives for affected workers.

“We await to see the exact details of the government’s consultation response, but assume a timeframe for implementation, similar to the process for care homes in England, will be announced”

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