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Don’t force workers to get vaccinated, says TUC

Commenting last week on leaked cabinet plans that the Prime Minister and Health Secretary have agreed to make vaccinations a legal requirement for people working in care homes, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Getting everyone vaccinated as quickly as we can is the best way to make sure our workplaces are safe, to protect care home residents, and to open up our economy again.

“But forcing workers to get vaccinated isn't the right way to do this. Not only will it harm trust and employee relations, it may also be discriminatory and leave employers open to legal challenge.

“Instead, bosses should make it as easy as possible for care workers to get vaccinated, for example by giving them paid time off for the appointments and guaranteeing decent sick pay for any time off to recover. They should consider running on-site vaccination clinics and bringing in health professionals to talk through workers’ concerns.

“And if we want our care workers to feel confident about doing their jobs, we should pay them properly, ban zero hours contracts, and ensure they all have decent sick pay. Vaccinations can't be a substitute for comprehensive health and safety measures to make workplaces COVID-secure.”

TUC March 2021

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