Steve Barclay - apologise and reinstate sacked care workers
As a result of the mandatory vaccination policy for care home workers that came into effect in November 2021, an estimated 40,000 care home workers lost their jobs.
Realising that the controversial policy was untenable and would result in the collapse of the NHS if rolled out to all employees in health or social care settings, the government revoked the regulations.
The loss of jobs has proven disastrous for the employees who lost their regular source of income and pensions and the care sector itself.
There are now an estimated 165,000 vacancies in the care sector, 500,000 people waiting for care or reviews, and a £3.7 billion funding gap which has brought many care providers to the brink of collapse.
According to figures from the Department of Health and Social care, it costs care providers £2,500 in recruitment, training and induction costs to replace every single care worker who lost their job due to this ill-thought-out policy.
With winter season approaching and the already overstretched NHS buckling under the strain, over 13,000 hospital beds are being taken up by those unable to be discharged because of the lack of care home workers and care home beds.
The care sector crisis is putting lives at risk.
There are a number of things the government can do to ease the crisis:
1) apologise for the policy error to the workers who were sacked or forced out of their jobs.
2) reinstate the sacked workers and, if necessary, legislate to ensure this happens. Some care home providers are still requiring workers to have the vaccine. The Department of Health must clarify the legal position and raise awareness by campaigning for providers to re-hire former workers.
3) compensate - offer the sacked workers a financial incentive to return to their jobs to compensate for the lost earnings, stress and costs of losing their jobs.
When considering the regulations in March 2022, a House of Lords committee expressed surprise and disappointment that the government has so far refused to consider the issue of care-workers who lost their livelihoods.
Sign the petition to save the care sector and tell the government to do the right thing.
Government U-turn on mandatory covid vaccines branded ‘a joke’ and ‘too late’ by Care homes. (Care home industry publication).
Adult social care in England is in crisis say Tory council leaders (The Guardian)
What happens to NHS and Care home staff dismissed due to mandatory Covid 19 regulations (UK Parliament)
Compensate 40,000 English care workers who lost jobs over vaccine mandate says MP (Epoch Times)