Health workers who lost jobs for not having Covid vaccinations could sue Government

A care worker who spearheaded a judicial review following the mandatory Covid vaccination policy has suggested that the 40,000 workers who lost their jobs could sue the Government for compensation.

Julie Peters worked as a care home programme director in Poole, Dorset. Her job was predominantly office-based and she was infrequently required to visit care homes, but she lost the role as a result of the Department for Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) mandatory jabs policy.  

Along with Nicola Findley, a full-time care home support worker from Wolverhampton, she called for a judicial review over the policy, but the case was dismissed by a High Court judge in December.

Following the Government’s U-turn on mandatory Covid vaccinations for NHS and social care workers – revealed by The Telegraph – Ms Peters has suggested that the tens of thousands of workers who were either sacked or forced to quit should receive compensation.

“I would be willing to do anything to right the wrongs that have taken place,” she said. “It’s completely out of order what has happened.” She added that she was “100 per cent keen for legal action and compensation”.

A timeline of NHS compulsory jabs

Her comments came after Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, told MPs on Monday night that he would launch a consultation on ending vaccination as a condition of deployment in health and social care settings.

Mr Javid defended the mandatory vaccinations policy, saying the Government “makes no apology for it”.

Care providers reacted to the U-turn with fury amid revelations that they were forced to leave residents in beds and restrict visitors because they had lost staff.

Ms Peters, currently unemployed as a result of her refusal to get a Covid vaccine, said: “If the consultation goes through and scraps mandatory vaccines for both NHS and care workers, there would be nothing stopping me, to be honest, from taking action.

“A judicial review is not necessarily the right pathway, but maybe compensation is. A lot of those people have had a year of anxiety, stress and fear for their livelihoods. It’s had an impact on their mental health. I’m 100 per cent keen for legal action and compensation.

“People have been suffering, and for them, it has meant their whole world has crumbled. Most other care workers are completely worn down by this. People live hand to mouth and that means that, if they lose their jobs, they lose their homes.”

Mr Javid said it was no longer proportionate to require vaccination for NHS staff and health care workers, telling MPs there was a need to consider the impact on the workforce in “especially at a time where we already have a shortage of workers and near-full employment across the economy”.

He said it had been “the right policy at the time, supported by the clinical evidence”, but that as omicron replaced the more severe delta as the dominant Covid variant, “it’s only right that our policy on vaccination as a condition of deployment is reviewed”.

“I’m announcing that we will launch a consultation on ending vaccination as a condition of deployment in health and all social care sectors,” he said. “Subject to the responses and the will of this House, the Government will revert the regulations.” 

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