ECONOMY

‘No payments’ for unvaccinated healthcare staff sacked in mandatory jab plans


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nvaccinated healthcare staff in England face being sacked without an exit payment, an official document shows.

Frontline staff must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with two jabs by April 1 – meaning they must have had their first vaccine on February 3.

Healthcare employers have been told that from the following day – February 4 – unjabbed staff should be invited to a meeting and told that a potential outcome may be dismissal.

Whilst organisations are encouraged to explore redeployment, the general principles which apply in a redundancy exercise are not applicable here, and it is important that managers are aware of this

The 24-page document says: “It is important to note this is not a redundancy exercise. In the context of the regulations, there is no diminishment or cessation of work of a particular kind.

“Employers will not be concerned with finding ‘suitable alternative employment’ and there will be no redundancy entitlements, including payments, whether statutory or contractual, triggered by this process.

“The redeployment or dismissal of workers is determined by the introduction of the regulations and an individual’s decision to remain unvaccinated.

“Whilst organisations are encouraged to explore redeployment, the general principles which apply in a redundancy exercise are not applicable here, and it is important that managers are aware of this.”

Vaccinations remain our best defence against Covid-19

The guidance says employers should engage and work in collaboration with their trade union or staff side representatives, as to the formal measures being taken “in respect of redeployment processes and potential dismissals of staff due to VCOD”.

Alternative options potentially available to an unvaccinated staff member – such as any possible adjustments to their current role, restrictions to duties or redeployment opportunities available – should also be explored, the document says.

It adds: “From 4 February 2022, staff who remain unvaccinated (excluding those who are exempt) should be invited to a formal meeting chaired by an appropriate manager, in which they are notified that a potential outcome of the meeting may be dismissal. Meetings may take place in person or virtually.”

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