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Care worker sacked for refusing vaccine told she is ‘unlikely’ to win claim

A care worker who was sacked after refusing to have a Covid-19 vaccination has been told that she is very unlikely to win her claim for unfair dismissal.

Rebecca Latham, who worked at the Firs Care Home in Breaston from November, 2020, to November, 2021, lodged an application for interim relief pending a hearing of her dismissal claim.

But Employment Judge Christopher Camp rejected the application, explaining that interim relief would be granted only if it was likely that her claim would eventually be upheld – and in Ms Latham’s case it was nowhere near that threshold.

In November last year she was told by the home owners that to comply with the new regulations she, like all other care home staff, would need to be vaccinated and to provide evidence.

Ms Latham, however, felt that the vaccines were not safe for her or anyone and that it was untrue to claim that she had to be vaccinated to be able to keep her job.

She said her reservations about the vaccine amounted to “public interest disclosures”, but according to the Judge, they were clearly not.

In his judgment he said: “The claimant say – emphatically – that she is not an ‘anti-vaxxer’, but I think it would be fair to say she is very much anti-Covid 19 vaccines.

The home owners, The Firs Care Home Ltd, were not represented at the hearing but Judge Camp said there was “nothing peculiar or strange” in the letter terminating her employment.

“It says exactly the kind of things I would expect a small employer in this sector to say to someone with less than two years’ service who it was proposing to dismiss for not getting vaccinated,” he said.

Dismissing Ms Latham’s argument that the home owners should have investigated her concerns about the safety of the vaccines and the lawfulness of the regulations, the Judge commented: “Is the claimant seriously suggesting that it (the home) should have defied the law and not enforced the regulations, risking it being shut down by the authorities?

“What the claimant calls the respondent’s inaction looks to me, on the basis of the material I have, like it simply sticking to its guns and repeatedly telling the claimant that she needed to be vaccinated if she wanted to keep her job.”

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