Are employer-mandated vaccinations a viable option for social care?

Lucy Gordon, director in the employment team at law firm Walker Morris, discusses whether employers in the social care sector can require staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

The topic of whether vaccinations should be made compulsory by employers in the healthcare sector has dominated the news agenda of late, with some advocating for ‘no jab, no job’ policies1 to be implemented into employment contracts in all sectors, but most question the ethics of such a policy.

The UK government has already confirmed that it will not embark on mandatory vaccination generally. The approach taken to date in relation to health and social care sector staff has been to persuade and encourage take up of vaccinations, with Professor Chris Whitty appealing to the conscience of healthcare staff by stating that it is a “professional duty” to be vaccinated.

There are reports that the NHS is considering mandatory vaccination, but such developments would require significant changes to the legislative framework regarding compulsory medical treatment.2

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