The COVID-19 vaccination policy for NHS workers in England has been officially scrapped at the last minute.
The government axed the plans after the British Medical Association warned of a mass exodus, making the staffing crisis unbearable. The Department of Health and Social Care estimated 75,000 workers could have lost their jobs.
Javid told the Commons: “While vaccination remains our very best line of defence again COVID-19, I believe it is no longer proportionate to require vaccination as a condition of deployment.”
Patricia Marquis, England Director for the Royal College of Nursing said: “This climbdown by government is long overdue. Vaccination is important, but this was the wrong policy, especially as it added to the pressure on the NHS and care services.”
According to the British Medical Journal, some hospitals have seen up to one in ten of their staff off sick or isolating.
Unison, which represents almost half a million members in the healthcare sector, criticised the governments inconsistency. “Frustratingly, this was all so predictable. Although it looks like a weakened prime minister is about to sanction a welcome U-turn, the damage has already been done. Thousands of care workers have already been forced to leave the jobs they love.”
The removal of the mandate allows employers to focus on retaining staff and recruiting others. Similarly, it alleviates the strain on employee relations which can allow for a better company culture. The BMA supports the move, but still asserts vaccination remains the best way to protect against serious illness. Talk to us today about implementing vaccination policies or employee relations in the workplace.