Affected frontline workers must get their first jab by 3 February 2022 – or risk dismissal


Under new regulations, all frontline workers, as well as non-clinical workers who have direct, face to-face contact with patients, will need to have both doses of the Covid vaccine by 1 April 2022.

After this date, those who remain unvaccinated without official proof of medical exemption granted by a GP will then have to be redeployed to a non-patient facing role or dismissed.

In order to meet the deadline, people will need to have had their first jab administered by 3 February 2022, allowing the recommended eight weeks before receiving their second, as advised by The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

The new regulations impact around 630,000 clinical NHS staff, as well as agency workers and contractors in frontline roles, medical transport services, dentists, pharmacists, and non-clinical staff like receptionists.

Alan Price, CEO at BrightHR says:

“The date of 3 February is an incredibly important one to bear in mind as employees that have not received their first jab by then, are very unlikely to be fully vaccinated by the time the new regulations come into force.

“Employers need to be taking action now, to avoid having to make those difficult decisions around redeployments and dismissals when 1 April 2022 comes around.

“The first step would be to encourage all staff to be vaccinated unless they’re exempt, providing paid time off to attend clinics and perhaps even transport for staff from the workplace to appointments.

“Invite employees to a formal meeting ahead of the February deadline. Keep them informed of the mandate and what choosing not to take the vaccine will mean for their employment. Ensure all exempt staff know they will have to provide official proof of exemption before 1 April.

“Dismissing unvaccinated and non-exempt staff should always be a last resort, so they will need to be redeployed to non-frontline roles where possible.

“If you have taken all these steps and still have unvaccinated members of staff, then there will be no other choice but to dismiss them – but remember, it’s important to follow a fair process.”