Compulsory vaccines for NHS workers

9 Nov 21 by Charlotte Ashton
NHS and care workers.jpeg

Following on from the government legislating to require all care home workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID, it is expected that a similar law will be brought in for NHS workers. Charlotte Ashton, our senior solicitor, provides more insight…

The law for care home workers was made in July 2021 and gave a 16-week ‘grace period’ for workers to ensure they were fully vaccinated by the time the law came into force on 11 November 2021.

The purpose of that law is to ensure that care homes are safe for staff and care home residents. The law specifically places the onus on care service providers of accommodation to not allow people to enter a home unless they are fully vaccinated, are exempt for medical reasons, or fall under another exemption on grounds of their reasons for entering the home.

The effect of this legislation is that without being fully vaccinated or having a medical exemption, care home workers have faced dismissal.

It is expected that the government will make similar legislation for NHS workers in England to try and increase vaccine take-up rates, which can vary from Trust to Trust. At present, it is not clear which staff will be subject to the requirement to be fully vaccinated, but it is likely to be ’frontline‘ workers – i.e. those in patient-facing roles.

As with care home workers, there is likely to be a grace period to next Spring, allowing time for NHS employees to obtain both doses of the vaccine rather than face dismissal.

We will continue to use this blog to keep you updated on the latest government guidance, as it happens.


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Post by Charlotte Ashton

Senior Solicitor – Head of Immigration, ESP Law Ltd

Charlotte has over 10 years’ experience in all aspects of employment law, having qualified as a solicitor in 2009. She trained in-house with a large UK company, covering 45,000 employees, and moved to private practice on qualification. Charlotte enjoys helping growing companies understand their legal obligations and has given training and presentations to start up entrepreneurs, and business students, at a local University. Charlotte also specialises in business immigration law for the UK and has helped employers obtain sponsor licences in order to recruit from outside the UK.