A specialist care group in Milton Keynes is offering a brand new car as a raffle prize to fully vaccinated staff as it says it is more "cost-effective" than recruiting new team members.
Staff at PJ Care face losing their jobs if they have not been fully vaccinated by 11th November, apart from limited exemptions, in line with proposed Government legislation.
The Government has said that care home staff working at all Care Quality Commission-regulated care homes in the country should have both doses of the vaccination to protect vulnerable residents.
Currently, 85% of PJ Care’s 600 staff have been fully vaccinated. Chairman, Neil Russell, hopes the chance to win a Renault Clio E-Tech worth £22,000 will help to encourage those who are open to changing their minds.
He said: “We know that there are some of our staff who, for whatever reason, just do not feel able to receive the vaccine. But there are those staff who are still undecided or haven’t yet made their appointments for whom the prize of a new car could be deciding factor.
“We absolutely believe in the vaccine and have informed and encouraged our staff throughout, and it will pain us to lose any of our valued and highly-skilled team. With the average salary of a carer here being just over £20,000, plus our investment in their training, overtime they may earn and the costs of recruiting their replacement, if this initiative gets just one person to have the vaccine and stay in their job, we will have saved money.”
PJ Care is a provider of neurological care for adults with progressive conditions such as dementia, Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, and those with acquired brain injuries. They have one centre in Grange Farm and another in Shenley Lodge.
Staff who’ve yet to be vaccinated need to have their first jab by 16th September, in time for their second dose before the Government deadline. Neil says with time running out, they had to act fast.
“Recruiting staff in this sector is already difficult,” Neil adds, “And adding in a requirement for vaccination will only make the situation worse. In this context, a new car is a small price to pay – indeed, it is actually an investment rather than a cost.”