The Department of Health and Social Care has extended the period of self-certified temporary exemption from COVID-19 vaccination to 31 March 2022.
Previously, the deadline was 23 December 2021.
The guidance will enable care homes to continue to employ unvaccinated staff with self-certification over the winter months.
According to James Sage, partner, health & social care, at law firm Royds Withy King, it will also give staff more time to complete their applications for a formal medical declaration of exemption.
Managers are advised that due to the extension, it not be possible to rely on statutory restriction as the reason for dismissal until 31 March 2022.
Consideration will therefore need to be given to whether to delay any proposed dismissals or whether an alternative fair reason for dismissal (eg, Some Other Substantial Reason (SOSR) would apply.