On 22 July 2021, the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 became law, introducing a requirement for all care home staff to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
The law will come into place on Thursday, 11 November 2021. Unless exempt, all staff who enter a care home in a work capacity must have their first dose by Thursday, 16 September 2021. This is to allow an eight-week gap between the first and second dose of the vaccine.
Below are key dates to remember:
This law applies to all CQC registered providers of accommodation for persons who require nursing or personal care. It is not limited to older peoples care homes.
Staff who are also sure that they do not want to take the vaccine should start looking for alternative options of employment before November 11th.
Watch this video featuring care home workers, Eva and Julia, from The Heathers residential nursing home, Bromley.
They initially had concerns about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, but decided to go ahead to protect the residents they care for from the risks.
All persons who enter a care home/on the premises in a work capacity, regardless of their role, must be vaccinated, unless they are exempt. This also applies to visiting professionals.
- healthcare workers
- hairdressers and beauticians
- CQC inspectors
- all full-time or part-time workers employed directly by the care home or provider
- those employed by any agency and deployed by the care home
- volunteers deployed in the care home
- staff who do not provide direct care to residents such as cleaners and kitchen staff
- visiting friends or relatives of residents
- persons providing emergency assistance
- urgent maintenance workers
- those under the age of 18
- staff with a prescribed medical exemption
Staff who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to get pregnant are encouraged to take the vaccine. For more information, click here.
There will be no exemption for staff who object to vaccination on religious grounds.
You should wait around 4 weeks after the first symptoms of Covid-19, or 4 weeks from first testing positive for Covid-19.
We understand that many emotions may arise upon reading this news, whether it be surprise, distress, confusion or even devastation. You are not alone in having these feelings. Unions such as Unite, Unison and GMB have strongly opposed this news.
Concerns about the vaccine are very much understandable. You may not know much about the covid vaccine. You may be wary of the side effects. You may have read discouraging posts on social media. You may not be confident in the vaccine or the health system. You may need to travel a long distance to get the vaccine. There are many other challenges in your day-to-day life that may affect your willingness to get the vaccine.
We hope that this resource can help relieve some of your concerns. This resource has vaccine information in video format and in different languages.
This is another great resource to help you book your vaccine, visit a walk-in vaccine clinic or browse through vaccine stories and facts.
Not taking the vaccine would have financial consequences, as you will have to find other means of employment.
For advice on financial wellbeing, check out this page.
You will have to find other jobs, and this can be very stressful.
If you would like support for yourself through this difficult time, you can browse the image slider below for support available to you.
Our community forum will be available soon. Having a space where you can discuss your concerns with fellow staff may be a good way to process any worries, frustrations, and other feelings that arise from this news.
Be aware of the following key dates:
- 22 July 2021: Regulations became law
- 16 September 2021: Last date for first vaccine if employee is to be fully vaccinated by 11 November 2021 (this assumes an 8-week period between jabs, but it may be possible to get the second jabs as early as 6 weeks after the first).
- 11 November 2021: No staff can enter a care home unless fully vaccinated or exempt.
You will need to update job adverts, application forms, interview questions, offer letters and contracts of employment to reflect the new requirement.
Click here for guidance on discussing the covid vaccine with your staff
- Infotagion: The independent, expert fact-checking service for Coronavirus (COVID-19). Sourced from WHO, UK and other official government advice.
- SHARE checklist: Guide for how to spot false and misleading content.
- Ofcom: A set of resources to help cut through the confusion and provide people with the tools to navigate news and information about Covid-19. Resources include Tools for fact-checking; tips on debunking misleading claims; and support for parents and children.