Compulsory jabs risk driving staff away and are the wrong approach

Undervalued and underpaid workers could walk away

Responding to reports that the government is set to announce that Covid-19 vaccinations are to be made compulsory for care home staff in England, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said today (Wednesday):

“The only way out of the pandemic is for everyone that can to have their jabs. Encouragement has the best results and research shows coercion makes the nervous less likely to be vaccinated.

“The government’s sledgehammer approach now runs the risk that some care staff may simply walk away from an already understaffed, undervalued and underpaid sector.

“If these heavy-handed plans show anything, it’s that ministers can implement changes across the whole care sector when it suits.

“After everything they’ve been through this past year care workers deserve to be paid at least the real living wage.

“Any claims the government is powerless to introduce a pay rise into a fragmented system with thousands of private employers will ring rather hollow in future.

“The NHS has been successfully vaccinating the public and its own staff for more than six months. There’s no reason to change this successful approach.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in both the public, voluntary and private sectors.

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