Discovery’s policy on Covid-19 vaccinations

An open letter from Dimensions CEO Steve Scown to potential new colleagues regarding our policy on vaccination.

I’m Steve Scown, the Chief Executive of the Dimensions group (which includes Dimensions UK, Dimensions Cymru, Discovery and Outreach 3Way). I’m delighted that you’re considering applying to work with us – there has never been a better time to join us.

We’re one of the leading not-for-profit providers of support for people with learning disabilities and/or autism in the country, and one of the UK’s ‘Best Workplaces’ accredited by the Great Place to Work Institute. We are in great shape to grasp the exciting opportunities ahead of us – and we’ll do this by remaining focused on our values and our overriding objective to provide great support. Whether you’re interested in joining us as a support worker or in a business support role, you can be sure that you would be making an important contribution to what we do – making a positive difference to people’s lives every day.

We are able to talk about emerging from the pandemic now because of the success of the vaccine roll-out in the UK. Covid-19 is in retreat because of the vaccine, and there is growing evidence that not only does vaccination protect the person having the jab, but also those around them. We work with people who are very vulnerable to the virus, and take very seriously our duty of care both to them and our colleagues.

The law already requires everyone working in a registered care home to be double jabbed by 11th November and I anticipate this legislation will soon be extended to include all social care environments.

We have therefore decided that it is now a condition of employment with us that all new recruits either have been vaccinated against Covid-19, or are willing to be vaccinated against Covid-19 – unless you can help us understand your legitimate reason for not being vaccinated which must align to the law. In particular, the law states that pregnancy is a legitimate reason to claim exemption, but breast feeding or fertility treatment is not.

Because we are one team and we are all focused on providing great and safe support, this expectation applies to all roles, including business support roles.

If our position on vaccines is putting you off applying, I would ask you to look at the facts – vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective and they are undoubtedly helping keep people out of hospital and alive. I know we are not the only employer insisting on new colleagues being committed to receiving a vaccine – in fact, as above, I believe it will eventually apply to all those working in social care.

Finally, I’ve worked for Dimensions since 1993 and I would like to assure you that, while we are not perfect, we are a friendly, dedicated and caring employer – as our accreditation as a Great Place to Work would support. I hope you share our values and our vision for making better lives for more people – you will be very welcome and will be making an important contribution to something that every day makes a positive difference in so many people’s lives.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Scown, Dimensions CEO