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No payments for unvaccinated staff, trusts told as NHS prepares for dismissals


NHS organisations have been told to prepare for redeploying or dismissing thousands of unvaccinated staff without an exit payment, and to raise the alarm about services which may be rendered unsafe.

NHS England today issued guidance on ‘phase two’ of the government’s “vaccination as a condition of deployment”, which requires all patient-facing staff to have had two covid vaccinations by 1 April. 

Tens of thousands of staff are believed to still be unvaccinated, and the cut off for having a first dose is 3 February.

The guidance said efforts should be made to adjust roles or redeploy staff, but added: “From 4 February 2022, staff who remain unvaccinated (excluding those who are exempt) should be invited to a formal meeting chaired by an appropriate manager, in which they are notified that a potential outcome of the meeting may be dismissal.”

It continued: “Whilst organisations are encouraged to explore deployment, the general principles which apply in a redundancy exercise are not applicable here, and it is important that managers are aware of this.”

Employers will “not be concerned with finding ‘suitable alternative employment’ and there will be no redundancy entitlements, including payments, whether statutory or contractual, triggered by this process”.

Trusts also do not have to “collectively consult” with staff being dismissed — as they would with a restructure — although this is “ultimately a decision for each organisation to take”.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 14 January 2022

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