The government has been urged to stop ‘strongarming’ care workers into getting vaccinated and focus on working with them to overcome the barriers they face in receiving the jabs.
As Ministers announced this week that Covid-19 vaccinations will be made compulsory for those working in social care, GMB warned that a third of its members in the sector would consider leaving their jobs if such a policy came to pass.
Care work already faces staff shortages due to extremely high turnover, driven by poor wages and conditions. If more people were to leave the profession, it could bring on a serious crisis.
GMB is calling for the government to make real efforts towards tackling vaccine hesitancy, rather than simply try to push through the policy by force.
Rachel Harrison, the union’s National Officer, explained: “The government could do a lot to help them; address their pay terms and conditions, increasing the rate of and access to contractual sick pay, banning zero-hours and ensuring more mobile NHS vaccination teams so those working night shifts can get the jab.
“Instead, Ministers are ploughing ahead with plans to strongarm care workers into taking the vaccine without taking seriously the massive blocks these workers still face in getting jabbed.
“This looks like another potential avoidable mess. We’ve told Ministers that more than a third of our members in social care would consider packing their jobs in if vaccines were mandated. They can’t now say they weren’t warned.”