Vic Rayner, Managing Director of the National Care Forum, told BBC Breakfast that giving staff just 16 weeks to get vaccinated, or risk losing their jobs, would not give the industry enough time to adjust. She said:
If there is that 16 week window, then it’s really a very short period of time for people to make the kinds of changes that are necessary.
Mike Padgham, President of the Independent care group (ICG), which represents Yorkshire care homes, said this would make it even more difficult for care homes to recruit staff. He told the Today show:
I’m disappointed because I think persuasion is still the way to go because the number of vaccinated has increased but I also say that I think people should be vaccinated, that every staff member should be vaccinated… I think just persuasion rather than coercion or coercion, that’s how we have to deal with it.
What worries me is the recruitment crisis already in social services, is that we are afraid that this will deter more people from entering social services and that it will be difficult.
And Rachel Harrison, the GMB syndicates national head of public services, said:
Caregivers have been at the forefront of this pandemic, risking their lives to keep our loved ones safe, often enduring almost Victorian labor standards in the process.
The government could do a lot to help them: change their pay conditions, increase the rate and access to contract sickness benefits, ban zero hours and ensure more mobile NHS vaccination teams so those working nights can receive the vaccine.
Instead, ministers are moving forward with plans to force healthcare workers to take the vaccine without taking seriously the massive blockages these workers still face in getting bitten.
It looks like another potential avoidable mess. We told ministers that more than a third of our social service members would consider quitting their jobs if vaccines were mandatory. They can no longer say they weren’t warned.
Here is the program for the day.
9h30 : Lord Frost, the Brexit Minister, testifies before the Northern Ireland Commons Committee.
9h30 : Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor to the NHS Test and Trace, Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, and Professor Wendy Barclay, Head of the Infectious Diseases Department at Imperial College London, testify in front of the Commons scientific committee.
12h : Boris Johnson takes on Sir Keir Starmer at PMQ.
12h30 : Johnson makes statement in Commons on G7 and NATO summits.
After 2 p.m .: MPs are starting to debate regulations to postpone the lifting of final Covid restrictions for another four weeks, until July 19. The vote will take place at 7 p.m.
3 p.m .: Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, delivers a speech at the Education Festival.
Politics Live has recently been a mix of Covid and non-Covid news, and it will be today. I will particularly focus on PMQs, Johnson’s statement and the Covid debate.
For other Covid developments, read our Global Live Blog. It’s here.I am trying to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a straightforward question, include “Andrew” somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I try to answer the questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and answer over the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.
If you want to get my attention quickly, it’s probably best to use Twitter. I’m on it @AndrewSparrow.
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