Brought to you by SA Accounting Academy: A new consolidated ministerial directive on occupational health and safety measures during the Covid-19 State of Disaster was gazetted earlier this month.
Employers should find a reasonable resolution that accommodates all parties where employees refuse to be vaccinated for medical and constitutional grounds. This is contained in the new consolidated direction on occupational health and safety measures in certain workplaces which was gazetted by the Minister of Employment and Labour.
"The key principle of these guidelines is that employers and employees should treat each other with mutual respect. A premium is placed on public health imperatives, the constitutional rights of employees and the efficient operation of the employer’s business," reads the guidelines.
Constitutional grounds could be the right to bodily integrity in section 12(2) and the right to freedom of religion, belief and opinion in section 13 of the Constitution. Medical grounds refer to issues of an immediate allergic reaction of any severity to a previous dose or a known (diagnosed) allergy to a component of the COVID-19 vaccine.
This might include an adjustment that permits the employee to work offsite or at home or in isolation within the workplace such as an office or a warehouse or working outside of ordinary working hours. In instances of limited contact with others in the workplace, it might include a requirement that the employee wears an N95 mask.
Click here to download the Consolidated Direction on OHS measures in certain workplaces: