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?
Read more: The fight goes on for sacked care home staff