Thursday, May 26, 2022
HomeCOVID-19The fight goes on for sacked care home staff 

The fight goes on for sacked care home staff 

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HEARINGS cancelled and a rapidly emptying calendar. Suddenly, after a hectic period as an officer of the Workers of England Union, I had time on my hands.  

Following Health Secretary Sajid Javid’s climbdown on ‘no jab, no job’ in the House of Commons on Monday, NHS England immediately ordered employers to refrain from issuing termination notices to unvaccinated staff. Campaigners rejoiced, but what of the 40,000 care home workers dismissed at the end of last year?  

In July 2021, an unprecedented law was passed by Parliament, mandating a double dose of Covid vaccine for all care home staff. The experimental injections were to be taken not by informed consent, but by ‘no jab, no job’ coercion. Guilty of voting for this abhorrent statute were 319 MPs.  

In December, the mandate was extended to the nation’s biggest employer, the NHS. This time, the number of immoral lawmakers was 385.  

Everything was going to plan, but all authoritarian regimes are prone to principled resistance, and to events as unpredictable as humanity itself. Such was the verbal exchange at King’s College Hospital between Javid and consultant anaesthetist Steve James, viewed by tens of millions online.  

Dr James sparked a growing revolt against the imminent dismissal of legions of doctors, nurses, radiographers, midwives, occupational therapists, paramedics and other essential workers. From hero to zero, it seemed, for clinicians who were applauded by a contrived weekly public ritual in 2020.  

Now that the mandate has been reversed, hundreds of care home workers whose jobs were temporarily saved by Workers of England representation should be safe. Those with outstanding appeals have every right to be reinstated.  

However, the majority of the one-in-ten unjabbed staff were dismissed and either lost their appeal or did not bother to challenge their termination. Can they get their jobs back, or be compensated for their lost income and immense stress? 

Many of our members are heading for an employment tribunal. Due to the exceptionally high demand on the arbitration service ACAS and the tribunal system, dismissed workers might wait over two years for their case to be heard.  

The delay may be advantageous, as the judiciary is currently immersed in the Covid narrative and likely to rule in favour of the employer, unless a strong argument is made for unlawful practice.      

The outcome of a care home tribunal case at Leeds on November 8 was discouraging. In Mrs C Allette versus Scarsdale Grange Nursing Home, Judge Bright displayed all the assumptions of an unprecedented deadly pandemic, fearful vulnerability and the lifeboats of miraculous vaccines (Covid has exposed the gullibility of the intelligentsia).  

But this case was weak: The claimant had belatedly used her Rastafarianism as a conscientious objection, while also stating that the vaccine is experimental with unknown long-term effects. Neither of these arguments worked because the law only allows exemption for clinical reasons.  

 The Workers of England always advises members to use the provisions of the law, by submitting a valid certificate of exemption. Our cases, therefore, have much better prospects, because the employer will need to prove to the tribunal that it rejected the worker’s exemption for reasons of law (not guidelines or policy).  

Care home employers insisted that staff go through the deliberately restrictive Department of Health & Social Care exemption process, with managers typically asking the worker in a termination meeting: ‘Why didn’t you follow the official guidance?’  

The answer is that the Government does not want anyone to be exempt: The stringent exemption criteria include being in terminal care, a severe learning disability or anaphylactic shock after a previous vaccine.  

But the Workers of England is not only defending members against a series of potentially harmful injections. We also oppose the Covid Pass, a sinister corollary of the vaccine mandate. Although not required by law, care home employees were given this digital passport if vaccinated, and also by seeking exemption by the official route. The Covid Pass, we believe, is the precursor to a digital surveillance system.  

Frequently I asked managers in hearings if they were aware of life in France, Italy, Israel and Australia, where nobody can go anywhere without their vaccine pass: ‘Is this the society you want to live in?’  Of course, they refused to answer, although fewer accused me of conspiracy theory (a regular accusation in earlier skirmishes).  

Such is the banality of evil. These managers have collaborated with a regime that is now struggling to maintain course against the headwinds of public awakening and backlash. They may repent for their sins by reinstating the workers who they evicted and traumatised, with full back pay and perhaps a sweetener.  

Let us not be complacent. The regulations remain in place, and as Javid said, vaccination is now an expectation of health care staff. Compliance is achievable by other means: All new jobs will require fully-vaccinated status, and he will meet the regulatory bodies for medicine, nursing and other professions to require this for all entrants to the register.   

Lacking employment rights, trainees will be kicked off their courses. Existing employees will have no chance of promotion, or even moving to another post. Meanwhile, the migrant flow across the English Channel continues unabated, providing a vast pool of replacements for the bothersome refuseniks.  

Our objective is complete repeal of the vaccine mandates. Otherwise, these can be readily invoked for a new variant or any other excuse.  And government must never again make such dystopian (and some would argue nefarious) territorial claims on our bodily autonomy.   

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Niall McCrae
Niall McCraehttps://www.conservativewoman.co.uk
Niall McCrae is an officer of the Workers of England Union.

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