The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 (the Regulations) have been approved. The Regulations were made on 22 July 2021 and come into force on 11 November 2021.
The Regulations make it mandatory for a person working or providing professional services in a care home to have the Covid-19 vaccine unless the person has provided clinical reasons why he or she cannot be vaccinated.
The clinical exemption will be clarified in the Code of Practice that will be issued to accompany the Regulations and is likely to be published at the end of July 2021.
The 16-week grace period between the legislation being made and it coming into force on 11 November 2021 is to mitigate the impact on the capacity in care homes by giving workers the opportunity to receive both vaccination doses.
The Regulations extend to both England and Wales, but will apply to England only.
It is important that organisations impacted by these Regulations start putting measures in place to implement these Regulations by 11 November 2021. The steps should include introducing a Covid-19 Vaccination Policy, which includes the medical exemptions that will be acceptable and evidential requirements. The policy should be introduced after discussion with staff. If employees / workers are still reluctant to have the Covid-19 vaccine then you will need to take steps to dismiss the employee / worker by 11 November 2021 and take into account any notice period, as any dismissal will be with notice.