In common with other health unions, the SoR is not in favour of mandatory vaccination for Covid-19. Our existing comment and guidance can be seen here.
UK Council urges all eligible members to be vaccinated but recognises and respects the fact that some members will have personal reasons, other than accepted exemption, to remain unvaccinated.
Although healthcare workers are used to the concept of mandatory vaccination, such as for Hepatitis B, we believe that proposals for mandation of the Covid-19 vaccine risk further pressure on the workforce at a time when services are already struggling.
This legislation has only just been announced. Proposed implementation is in April next year but there is little other detail at the moment.
Through our involvement with other unions in the NHS staff side, SoR is engaged at ministerial and government department level and seeking to influence the timing and content of any proposals that are made.
We expect communications very soon to set out how the process will be taken forward.
The government has said that the measures are an extension to previously announced regulations making Covid-19 vaccination a condition of deployment for staff working in CQC-registered care homes in England. These came into force on 11 November 2021. We will need to review how the care homes have managed the situation, both in seeking to influence the timing, impact and content of any legislation, and in advising members further.
In the meantime, unless your employer pursues the matter please do not make any changes to your employment status. Naturally, any attempt to move this forward at local level should be advised to SoR.
We will publish further advice in the near future.