Unions attack ‘authoritarian’ plan to force care workers to have Covid-19 jab

Unions have hit back at a “heavy-handed” and “authoritarian” government proposal to compel care home workers to have a coronavirus vaccine amid fears that low levels of uptake may undermine the fight against Covid-19.

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, confirmed on Tuesday that the government is considering a proposal that would legally require people caring for elderly and vulnerable patients to be vaccinated.

However union bosses have said care workers should not be “strong-armed or bullied” into having the jab with threats of legal action.

While more than 90 per cent of residents in care homes have had the vaccine, among staff the figure is closer to 75 per cent.

The GMB union’s social care officer, Kelly Andrews, said making the jab mandatory would risk undermining already fragile trust in government in a sector that has been on the front line of the pandemic.

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