Newsflash: Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations in Health and Social Care Revoked
On 31 January 2022, Sajid Javid announced a reversal of government policy to implement mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations throughout much of the health and social care sectors. He explicitly stated that he was:
“announcing that we will launch a consultation on ending Vaccination as a Condition of Deployment in health and all social care settings”
The government consultation was launched on 9 February and closed on 16 February 2022. The outcome of the consultation came out on 1 March 2022, confirming that the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements in Health and Social Care are to be repealed from 15 March 2022.
The new Regulations revoking the 2021 Care Home Regulations and the 2022 Vaccine as a Condition of Deployment (VCoD) Regulations went before Parliament and were also formally “made” on 1 March 2022. They confirm that on 15 March 2022, the mandatory vaccination requirements both in Care Homes and more widely with VCoD will be revoked.
As the 2021 Care Home Regulations remain in place until 14 March 2022, we recommend that employers in the health and social care sectors whose staff work in or are deployed to Care Homes continue to apply the mandatory vaccination requirements. This includes the recruitment of new staff commencing before 15 March 2022. For staff recruited to commence employment on or after 15 March 2022, there is no longer a requirement that they be fully vaccinated. If staff who were not fully vaccinated left employment or were dismissed due to the Care Home vaccine Regulations, they can legally be re-engaged from 15 March 2022.
For those staff in the wider health and social care sectors who were subject to VCoD consultation about their vaccination status (potentially unvaccinated) and likely had their consultations paused, those consultations can now be ended. We finally have certainty and the 1 April 2022 deadline for mandatory vaccination will not now come into effect. For new recruits there is no longer a requirement that they be fully vaccinated.
For organisations liaising with their contractors to ensure VCoD compliance by staff not directly employed, those consultations can now also be concluded as contractor staff will also no longer need to be vaccinated. If mandatory vaccination obligations have already been imposed or agreed with contractors, then consideration should be given to reversing or implementing those obligations.
If you have any questions regarding this then please contact the team.