Demands for a new law to prevent employment discrimination over vaccine status

Dominic Raab discusses likelihood of vaccine passports

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Tatton MP Esther McVey, who led criticism of government vaccine mandates for care workers and NHS staff, has said a change in the law may be needed. It follows concerns that Health Secretary Sajid Javid is encouraging regulators to set new rules in the health and care sectors which could lead to unvaccinated staff losing their jobs. The Government had already retreated from plans to sack up to 100,000 doctors, nurses and other NHS or private healthcare staff on April 1 who had refused to have the jab.

Around 30,000 care workers lost their jobs last year when a similar rule was brought in for their sector, which is now also being reversed.

Ms McVey, the former Work and Pensions Secretary, said: “There is absolutely no justification for employers to insist on vaccinations for their employees, either morally or practically given that it has been admitted that having the vaccine has minimal impact on transmission of the virus. 

“I would like to think employers can be trusted to do the right thing, but if not clearly the government would need to step in to protect workers from this unacceptable intrusion on their freedoms.”

MPs who have been critical of the Government’s covid restrictions have been looking at avenues in changing the law including the Public Health Act which gave ministers the powers to impose lockdowns without the Covid emergency powers passed in 2020 ever being needed. 

Options for a new so-called “freedom bill” to prevent restrictions being imposed on people without Parliamentary scrutiny and to ensure people are protected from vaccine mandates could include a new Act of Parliament.

Alternatively, MPs are looking at the Bill of Rights being worked on by Justice Secretary Dominic Raab as a means of enshrining protections against vaccine mandates.

There were concerns that the attempts to force people to have the jsb breached the Nuremberg human rights principles agreed on after the fall of the Nazis which included provision for people not to have medical treatment forced upon them.

Doctors have also pointed out that the same principle of consent is part of the Hippocratic Oath which they all take, dating back to Ancient Greece.

Campaigners have welcomed Ms McVey’s intervention.

Alan Miller, co-founder of the Together declaration which has opposed vaccine mandates and passports, said: “It is good that the Health Secretary did a U-turn on the vaccine mandate following enormous push back from many together.  

“No employers, regulatory bodies or educational institutions should be pressurising people to take a vaccine.  

“We at Together agree with Esther McVey that it must not be permitted and actively prevented.  

“We shall also be pursuing any Trust, employer or institution that does so.  

“We need to get our old normal back now. There is so much damage we need to address as a consequence of lockdowns and restrictions.”

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