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Teal Beck care home fairly dismissed employee over COVID exemption claims

Anchor Hanover’s Teal Beck Care Home fairly dismissed an employee failing to evidence his medical exemption for COVID-19 vaccination in line with Government guidance and Vaccination as a Condition of Deployment regulations in social care.

In an employment tribunal, Judge T Perry accepted the respondent’s assertion that in light of the regulations, to employ the claimant, former employee Mr M Farnaby, beyond 11 November 2021 without him having signed the relevant self-certification medical exemption form would have been illegal.

Judge Perry said: “It is hard to see what the respondent could have done other than proceed to dismiss the claimant if it believed his continued employment was illegal.”

An important consideration noted by the case is that the respondent had explored with the claimant the possibility of alternative roles that would not have required the claimant to be medically exempt or vaccinated. However, the claimant did not give any indication that he wanted to take up any such alternative role.

The respondent also evidenced the deployment of a communication campaign to encourage employees and residents to get vaccinated, including information on the vaccine.

In an appeal against his dismissal, the claimant raised five grounds for grievance:

  • Challenge to the validity of mandatory vaccination generally
  • Rejection of the claimant’s exemption certificate
  • Alleged criminal intimidation in the workplace
  • Failure to perform a risk assessment which, the claimant maintained, should include evidence that COVID 19 had been identified such that a vaccine was capable of countering it
  • Alleged bullying, intimidation and coercion in relation to the medical exemption.

The decision to dismiss the claimant was upheld at this meeting.

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