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Unite Legal Services: Weekly coronavirus COVID-19 latest news round-up – 07 February 2022

red rectangle on cream background with black text  CORONAVIRUS COVID-19

At Unite Legal Services, we’ve collated the latest news and information regarding employment matters and workers’ rights in relation to coronavirus COVID-19 developments.

01 February 2022

Sheerness docks strikes end after workers defeat ‘fire and rehire’ threat

Strikes by Sheerness dock workers employed by GB Terminals have ended after the company backed down over fire and rehire plans.

More than 30 staff, who process Volkswagen Group vehicles that arrive in Sheerness by car transporter ferry, would have been impacted by GB Terminals’ plans to change minimum overtime hours through fire and rehire. 

Strikes scheduled for February and March have now been cancelled, with staff returning to work as normal.

02 February 2022

Government last minute U-turn on NHS staff vaccinations welcome, but must report soon to end anguish for workforce

Unite said NHS staff can breathe a sigh of relief for the moment with the confirmation that health and social care secretary Sajid Javid was now entering into a consultation on the issue of mandatory vaccinations for the workforce.

However, the union warned that the eleventh-hour announcement has only prolonged the uncertainty for the NHS which is engulfed in a staffing crisis. Unite said that the consultation must be swift and decisive.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “The mandatory vaccination legislation was an unnecessary distraction from the NHS crisis which has developed due to chronic underinvestment over the last decade and is manifest in the six million people on waiting lists for urgent treatment.”

Get more support

For more information on how we are fighting to protect the health and safety, and economic stability of our members during the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis, please visit the Unite the Union advice hub.

If you are in need of further advice on an employment law query during the crisis, you can visit the Unite Legal Services coronavirus COVID-19 page, or call Unite’s dedicated coronavirus COVID-19 Legal Advice Line on 0333 202 6557.

COVID-19 personal injury claims

Unite has set up a specialist legal team to advise and represent members who have suffered injury as a result of COVID-19

If you have suffered injury from developing COVID-19, or have tragically lost a family member to the condition, then please call Unite’s COVID-19 PI team on 020 8799 4023.