Unite the union today (Tuesday 14 September) strongly reiterated its opposition to any health and social care worker being forced to have the Covid vaccine or risk losing their job.

Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, said that it would be making a robust submission in response to the government’s six week consultation, which started on 9 September, into the mandatory vaccination for frontline health and care staff.

Unite’s reinforcement of its position, first outlined in January this year, comes as the government today announces its anti-Covid measures for the autumn and winter.

Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said:Unite strongly opposes forcing any health and social care workers to have a vaccine or risk sacrificing their job. Encouragement, not compulsion, is the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the very good reason that such an approach is shown to work. 

“During the consultation period, we will be widely canvassing the views of our members and be making a robust submission to ministers.”

Unite’s position statement on Covid-19 vaccinations from January 2021 can be found via this link https://www.unitetheunion.org/media/3597/jn9318-a4-covid-19-vaccination-position-statement_jan21_v4final.pdf

The key line is: “Unite in health strongly recommends the voluntary uptake of the vaccine when offered for all health and social care workers unless their individual circumstances dictate otherwise.”

Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers' living standards.


Notes to editors:

The government consultation press statement can be found via this link https://www.gov.uk/government/news/consultation-on-mandatory-vaccination-for-frontline-health-and-care-staff

Unite press statements from earlier in the year.



For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065.

Please note the numbers above are for journalists’ enquiries only.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org 

Unite is the leading union in the UK and Ireland, dedicated to defending and improving members' jobs, pay and conditions. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.