One in 10 NHS staff in Greater Manchester could lose their jobs if they don’t get Covid jabs

It is thought that up to one in 10 health service workers in Greater Manchester have not yet had their jabs.

Concern is being raised about the prospect of Greater Manchester’s NHS losing significant numbers of staff as a deadline for front-line workers to have a Covid-19 vaccine in order to keep their jobs looms.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham raised the issue at a press conference today (18 January) and said his misgivings about the policy were shared by trade unions and some senior figures in the health service.

All frontline health care staff in England must be fully vaccinated by 1 April, which means the deadline for them to get a first jab in order to keep their jobs is looming.

It is thought that as many as one in 10 front-line workers in the city-region may be in a position where they are unable to comply.

What did Mr Burnham say about mandatory vaccinations for health workers?

Mr Burnham criticised the Government for the way it has gone about demanding all NHS workers on the front line get vaccinated against Covid-19.

He said he understood the arguments in favour of all NHS staff coming into contact with patients being jabbed against the novel coronavirus but thought the threat of losing jobs for not complying was not the correct way to achieve it.

He said: “Our trade union colleagues are reporting there is some difficulty with this issue among the workforce. There is a proportion of people who are saying they won’t come forward and the 1 February deadline is looming.

“It is not redundancy they are facing, it is termination of contract. This is a very serious situation, particularly with the ongoing pressure on the NHS.

Covid-19 vaccinations

“I personally would prefer a position where people are strongly encouraged rather than mandated.

“I would say to the Government that they need to keep a close eye on this issue and ensure we are not seeing the loss of significant numbers of NHS staff.

“It is a difficult situation and there will be many people who support what the Government has tried to do here.

“I can understand the reasons that lie behind it, and NHS staff are already required to have a number of vaccinations such as against hepatitis before they start work. It is obviously already part of standard procedure.

“This is fairly heavy-handed. The question is what to do if we get to a point where a couple of away from the implementation of this there are still significant numbers of NHS staff not doing it.

“I don’t think anyone wants to see the termination of contracts at this particular moment in time.”

How many people are going to be affected by this?

Mr Burnham said it was not possible to say exactly how many workers in Greater Manchester face having their contracts terminated but he said the figure would be roughly between five and 10%.

It is not the first time that there have been discussions about mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for certain jobs.

ManchesterWorld, in conjunction with our sister title NationalWorld, previously looked at concerns around social care workers being required to have Covid-19 jabs.

Some boroughs in Greater Manchester were at one point facing losing around 10% or slightly more of their social care workforce.

However, Mr Burnham said on Tuesday (18 January) that the evidence of vaccination being mandatory in social care was that the number of people remaining unvaccinated came down and in the end a single-digit percentage of staff left the industry and moved on to other roles.