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Care worker mandatory vaccinations 'incredibly bad idea'

15 Apr 2021
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Instead of using the care sector as a guinea pig for forced vaccinations, the government should increase the rate of Statutory Sick Pay, so that sick workers can afford to isolate

GMB, the union for care workers has hit out at UK government plans for mandatory vaccination of workers in the sector.

Today Matt Hancock announced that the government was launching a five-week consultation on which could recommend blanket inoculation of care workers. 

Mandating vaccination is an incredibly bad idea. There will undoubtedly be care workers who cannot receive the vaccine due to health or pregnancy reasons, and they will be left outside of the scope of the scheme.

Kelly Andrews GMB Organiser

The union believes that mandatory vaccination will leave carers with health or pregnancy issues outside of the scope of the scheme.

The moves would also create profound issues around civil liberties, including Employment and human rights law.

GMB argues that the government should instead set a better rate of statutory sick pay so that when workers have symptoms, they can isolate and reduce the spread of the infectious virus rather than being forced to work to work to put bread on the table.

Kelly Andrews GMB Organiser said:

“Mandating vaccination is an incredibly bad idea. There will undoubtedly be care workers who cannot receive the vaccine due to health or pregnancy reasons, and they will be left outside of the scope of the scheme.

“Let’s face it, this isn’t really about vaccine reticence but rather an unwillingness to set Statutory Sick Pay at a rate which means workers can afford to take time away from work if they develop side-effects from vaccination.

image of carer in field

“This policy would be the thin end of the wedge, and could lead to employers in other sectors demanding the same approach and will have profound consequences for human rights and employment rights if the Government mandates vaccination.

“The UK Government needs to get a grip after showing a complete failure to understand the real needs of the sector and its workers. They have been badly let down during this pandemic.”

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