Covid: Care homes could close if government pushes ahead with 'no jab, no job', union warns

Dr Jess Harvey administers the second dose of Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to care home assistant Amanda Lucas at the Lady Forester Community nursing home in Much Wenlock, Shropshire. Picture date: Thursday March 25, 2021.
Dr Jess Harvey administers the second dose of Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to care home assistant Amanda Lucas at the Lady Forester Community nursing home in Much Wenlock, Shropshire. Picture date: Thursday March 25, 2021.

Unison said ministers were "sleepwalking" into a disaster, and revealed an exodus of staff had already begun

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Care homes could be forced to close if the government continues to pursue a "no jab, no job" policy for staff in England, a leading trade union has warned.

Unison said ministers were "sleepwalking" into a disaster, and revealed an exodus of staff had already begun.

The union said the controversial mandatory vaccination rule for England was pushing thousands of workers to the brink of quitting care work ahead of the September 16 deadline to get their first vaccination or face losing their job.

Mandatory vaccination has been a “massive distraction” from the job of caring for people, diverting time and resources from employers and the Government, said Unison.

Former chancellor of the exchequer Sajid Javid, outside his home in south west London, after he was appointed as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, following the resignation of Matt Hancock. Picture date: Sunday June 27, 2021.
Former chancellor of the exchequer Sajid Javid, outside his home in south west London, after he was appointed as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, following the resignation of Matt Hancock. Picture date: Sunday June 27, 2021.

General secretary Christina McAnea said: “Vaccination remains the way out of the pandemic, but coercing and bullying people can never be the right approach.

“Ministers have been told repeatedly that using force instead of persuasion will fail, but they’ve not listened and now their ill-considered policy is backfiring.

Alastair Stewart on the problems facing the NHS

“The Government is sleepwalking into this disaster by not acting. Care is already a broken and underfunded sector that cannot afford to lose any more staff.

“The Government must scrap the ‘no jab, no job’ rule now. Widespread care home closures could be the consequence if they ignore the warnings.

“This would be disastrous for elderly people and those who cannot live without care support.”