We previously reported that from 11 November 2021, all care home workers and anyone entering a care home must be fully vaccinated, unless they are exempt.
On a temporary basis, people working or volunteering in care homes who are unable to have a COVID-19 vaccine for medical reasons will be able to self-certify that they meet the medical exemption criteria. The self-certification form for people with medical exemptions created can be used on a temporary basis pending the introduction of the NHS COVID Pass system.
Once the NHS COVID Pass system has launched, individuals will need to apply for a formal medical exemption and any self-certification will expire after 12 weeks.
Individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccination abroad can also self-certify as medically exempt using the self-certification form for people vaccinated abroad.
ACAS has now published its own guidance to help employees and employers at CQC-registered care homes in England understand the vaccination rules.
The guidance encourages employers to speak with staff (including those absent from work) about the new requirements before 11 November 2021.
It also encourages consultation with recognised trade union or employee representatives, which should cover (among other things):
ACAS notes that the vaccination requirement extends to:
The guidance provides general information on how to check if an individual is vaccinated and what information must be recorded, as well as what do if an employee refuses to be vaccinated and is not exempt. ACAS suggests various options, but states that if a resolution cannot be found and all available options have been explored, employers may start disciplinary proceedings.
Access the vaccination guidance from ACAS here.