Milton Keynes care company offers raffle prize of £20K new car as incentive for staff to get jabbed against Covid

The lucky winner says:' I was very happy to be vaccinated'

Monday, 1st November 2021, 2:15 pm
Updated Monday, 1st November 2021, 2:19 pm

A Milton Keynes-based care company says raffling a new car has helped to reduce the number of staff leaving because they disagreed with mandatory Covid vaccinations.

PJ Care offered the prize to any of its staff who complied after the government ruled that anyone working in a care setting with adults aged 65 and over must be fully vaccinated by the November 11.

When the announcement was made in September, the company was facing losing 140 of its near 600 staff.

Emma in her prize

But the car incentive, couple with an information programme and the issuing of self-exemption rules by the government, has cut the company's staff loss to just 20 - 3.5% of the workforce.

“We are very pleased that so many of our staff will be staying with us,” said chairman Neil Russell.

“While the offer of a car was an incentive for some, we also wanted staff to see it as a recognition of all the hard work they’d put in during the last 18 months, and the dedication they show to our residents every day.

He added: “Recruiting and training new staff is expensive and takes time so while this might seem like an expensive gesture, it has actually saved us money in not having to bring as many new people in. We do have vacancies to fill, though, so we are looking for housekeeping staff, nurses, carers and new members of our maintenance team. But we count ourselves fortunate to be in a better position than we were anticipating. We know many other care providers are struggling to find enough staff to continue to offer the care people in their communities need.”

Emma is given her prize of a new car

PJ Care’s ‘Bluebirds’ and ‘Mallard House’ centres in Milton Keynes and Peterborough offer care for people with progressive neurological conditions such as young onset dementia, Parkinson’s disease or acquired brain injuries.

Emma Hack, a housekeeper at the company’s Eagle Wood care centre in Peterborough, was the lucky winner of the brand-new Renault Clio E-Tech.

“I didn’t ever think I would win,” she said. “I was very happy to be vaccinated. I’ve worked for PJ Care for seven and a half years and I do enjoy it. They’ve done their best to help me make work fit around my family commitments and I’m part of a really good team. My son works here too! I think this prize shows how much they look after their staff.”

Final numbers of staff leaving as a result of the mandatory vaccinations won’t be known until Christmas Eve when the period of self-exemption comes to an end and care staff have to apply for a formal medical exemption.