Care home staff have launched legal action against the government and Health Secretary Sajid Javid for introducing a mandatory Covid jab requirement for care workers, which they call an “unlawful and unnecessary restriction”.
Under regulations set out by an amendment to ‘The Health and Social Care Act 2008’, the public will be prevented from entering a care home after 11 November 2021, unless they have received two doses of the Janssen, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccines.
As a result two care home staff are seeking a Judicial Review into the government’s incoming jab rule and a quashing order to render mandatory vaccination rules null and void. They also want a declaration from Sajid Javid that he has violated articles 8 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and that the regulations are unlawful. The claims have been brought by Nicola Findley, a full-time care home support worker from Wolverhampton, who says she does not trust the government's advice and Julie Peters, a care home programme director from Poole, who is infrequently required to visit care homes and believes that she should have freedom of choice over medical interventions. The pair claim the Health Secretary failed to consider the efficacy of alternatives to mandatory vaccination and did not consider the vaccination rate of care homes and/or persons with natural immunity.
They say the new regulations interfere with the public’s right to ‘bodily integrity’ and are ‘severe, unnecessary, and disproportionate’.
Their judicial review is also being brought on the grounds that the mandatory jab requirement will lead to shortages of workers in the care sector.
The government predicts seven per of care home workers, which is around 40,000 staff out of 570,000 working in care homes in England will refuse to have the vaccine. The judicial review claim was filed in Court on 9 September but with the regulations coming into force on 11 November, lawyers have asked the Court to give an early hearing date.
‘Medieval’ ownership of person’s body Stephen Jackson, solicitor at Jackson Osborne Employment Lawyers acting on behalf of the claimants, has called mandatory vaccination a breach of human rights and has said the new jab rule brings a "medieval" ownership of a person’s body.
Highlighting that the UK has Acts of Parliament and a history of prohibiting mandatory vaccination, Stephen Jackson said: “The Courts have long described the relationship of employer and employee as that of master and servant.
“These regulations attempt to legitimise a system of coercion and to set us back centuries to a time when the master had effective ownership and control over the servant’s body.” The Judicial Review is being crowdfunded and funded by freedom of choice campaigner, Simon Dolan. Over £60,000 has been raised to date (14 September).
Simon Dolan said: “This case has far-reaching and incredibly important implications for freedom of choice in this country. It should not be the case that the Government can intervene into the lives of the general public and dictate what medical procedures they do or do not have.
“This case is underpinned by the notion of freedom of choice, every member of society should be able to have control of what medical procedures they do or do not have. “This judicial review, if successful will protect the livelihoods and freedoms of up to 70,000 care workers across the UK.”
The judicial review against the Health Secretary is being brought under five grounds: - That the regulations are incompatible with laws prohibiting the enforcement of mandatory vaccines. - That the Health Secretary failed to consider the efficacy of alternatives to mandatory vaccination and did not consider the vaccination rate of care homes and/or persons with natural immunity. - That the regulations interfere with the public’s right to ‘bodily integrity’ and is severe, unnecessary, and disproportionate. - That the regulations will disproportionately impact women and those who identify as Black/Caribbean/Black British, in contravention of Articles 8 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. - That the regulations are irrational and will lead to shortages in both front-line and non-front line care workers.