Health sector employers are advised to continue to recruit new staff on the basis that mandatory COVID vaccination is currently and may be required, Hempsons employment lawyers have said.
The legal firm also advises that for those staff who are subject to consultation about their vaccination status (potentially unvaccinated), meetings should be paused pending repeal of the Vaccination as a Condition of Deployment (VCoD) legislation. Hempsons partner Martin Cheyne says this could be until at least mid-February 2022.
On February 1 Sajid Javid announced a reversal of government policy to implement mandatory vaccinations throughout much of the health and social care sectors. However, until legislation has been formally repealed, the 2021 (Care Home) Regulations are and remain in place and the 2022 (new and wider VCoD) Regulations come into place on 1 April. “They cannot simply be revoked by the announcement,” Cheyne has clarified.
Parliament is required to give consent to changes to criminal legislation and when proposed changes are significant, consultation is required.
NHS England/Improvement have requested that employers do not serve notice of termination to employees affected by the VCOD regulations.