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Govt guidelines don't give firms 'carte blanche' to make Covid jabs mandatory

2 August 2021 11:25 AM
Tags:
Vaccinations
Covid 19
mandatory vaccination policy
mandatory mask

Lester Kiewit asks labour lawyer Lauren Salt whether employers will be able to make vaccinations mandatory among workers.

- In June, the department of labour released vaccination guidelines which some have interpreted as giving employers permission to impose mandatory vaccination policies

- Labour law expert Lauren Salt says that's not the case...click the link above to listen to her explanation of the guidelines.


© Dzmitry Dzemidovich/123rf.com

Anti-vaxxers can breathe a sigh of relief.

It seems employers in South Africa will not have carte blanche to make Covid-19 vaccines compulsory among workers.

Last month the Department of Labour released its vaccination guidelines, interpreted by some as giving employers permission to introduce mandatory vaccination policies.

"What is critical is that we need to balance the needs and to take the dictates of collective bargaining and the need to keep employees healthy and businesses running. The Labour Relations Act emphasises the primacy of collective agreements. These guidelines are not intended as a substitute for collective agreements or agreed procedures between employers, their employer organisations and trade unions," said the Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi.

Speaking to Lester Kiewit, labour law analyst at ENSAfrica Lauren Salt says the guidelines to not confer on employers the right to introduce blanket policies of mandatory vaccinations for staff.

That reading is completely incongruent with what the directive actually says.

Lauren Salt, Labour law analyst -ENSAfrica

Salt says that in fact, the guidelines required all employers to carry out a risk assessment of their workplace.

That risk assessment must determine whether or not it is necessary to vaccinate certain employees.

Lauren Salt, Labour law analyst -ENSAfrica

RELATED: Can your boss force you to get the Covid-19 vaccine?

Those employees, as Salt explains, would be ones who, because of their age, comorbidities, or nature of their work would need to be vaccinated due to the high risk of their contracting or passing on Covid-19.

On the basis of that [risk assessment], [employers would] then undertake the analysis of whether you would need to impose a vaccination policy.

Lauren Salt, Labour law analyst -ENSAfrica

It certainly isn't carte blanch,e for an employer to say all 100 of my workers must be vaccinated.

Lauren Salt, Labour law analyst -ENSAfrica

Currently, about 7.8 % of the population is partially vaccinated, with Western Cape Premier Alan Winde receiving his first jab in Mitchells Plain this past weekend.

RELATED: Fully vaccinated South African? The world is opening up for you…




2 August 2021 11:25 AM
Tags:
Vaccinations
Covid 19
mandatory vaccination policy
mandatory mask

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