CARE homes can can impose ‘no jab, no job’ contracts on new staff, the Justice Secretary has confirmed.
Robert Buckland said care homes must have “obvious rationale” to require employees to be vaccinated.
He added that the Government would not be adopting a “blanket approach” to care homes imposing “no jabs, no jobs” policies.
Speaking to the BBC, he said: “Future contracts and contracts of employment are indeed matters between employers and employees.
“I think that where such conditions are imposed there needs to be a very clear rationale for them.
“In a care home, a closed environment where there are vulnerable residents, I would argue there does seem to be an obvious rationale.
“I think it will depend very much on each setting and the particular context. That is why I don’t think it would be right to say there can be a blanket approach here because we need to go back to the fundamental fact that vaccines are not compulsory here in the UK.
“There’s a very good reason why we don’t do that, where you have people who for genuine medical reasons cannot have the vaccination. There are other considerations more generally about consent.
“If you follow from that, it’s clear to me that, where employers want to take that step, there needs to be a very clear basis before that happens.”
Referring to new contracts, he said it would depend on the terms of employment and other requirements.
At the moment, forcing current employees to have vaccinations is illegal.
However companies can find other ways to encourage their employees to get the Covid-19 vaccine, with some already starting to include vaccination as a term in their contracts.
It comes after Charlie Mullins, Pimlico Plumbers founder, announced he will not be hiring anyone who hasn’t had a Covid vaccine.
Meanwhile Boris Johnson insists businesses should not be able to adopt the “no jabs, no jobs” policy, saying people might have serious reasons for not having the vaccine and companies should not be able to discriminate against them.
The Government is currently aiming to vaccinate those aged 65 and older, after having issued the first jab to just under 16million vulnerable Brits.
The vaccine rollout is currently on stage five out of nine, which must be fulfilled before it is rolled out to healthy adults younger than 55.