Labour Department warns of court cases ahead of mandatory vaccination policies by companies

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The Labour Department has warned of several court cases as some companies plan to introduce mandatory vaccination policies.

South Africa’s largest medical scheme administrator Discovery Health has become the first company in South Africa to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all staff from the beginning of next year. It says it wants to ensure the safety of its workers and the environment in which they operate.

This as major global companies from banks to airlines insist on inoculation.

The department’s chief labour inspector, Tibor Szana says employers can only fire an employee for refusing to take the vaccine after submitting a risk assessment report.

“Well, they would need to go through a process and if that process determines that the employer has indicated that he or she has done everything in their power and they have found that that would be the most suitable in their environment to do that, then they would be within their right to do so. They would have to show due process after the matter has gone to the CCMA because we are going have test cases. They would have to prove and we would go to the workplaces, that they have consulted thoroughly with the parties concerned,” says Szana.

Ramaphosa on vaccine

President Cyril Ramaphosa says those who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 will delay the country’s ability to achieve herd immunity and ultimately the return to full economic activity.

He says while no one should be forced to take vaccines, people should be encouraged to be vaccinated for the safety and that of those around them.

Ramaphosa was responding to the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader,  Reverend Kenneth Meshoe, in the National Assembly during his question and answer session.

The President adds that although the rights of people should be respected, they should be balanced against the rights of others to protect against infection.

President Cyril Ramaphosa Question and Answer session in parliament: