Note: Mandatory Vaccinations in the Workplace: Lessons from Covid-19
Author Monray Marsellus Botha
Affiliations: Professor, Department of Mercantile Law, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
Source: Industrial Law Journal, Volume 42 Issue 4, 2021, p. 2065 – 2081
On 11 June 2021, the government issued a direction that specifically deals with mandatory vaccinations in the workplace. Employees are granted the right to refuse the vaccine on constitutional or medical grounds. Employers, in such instances, should take into consideration the rights of employees to bodily and psychological integrity and the right to freedom of religion, belief and opinion (ss 12 and 15 of the Constitution). For employers to implement such a policy, an overall assessment of whether the limitation is reasonable and justifiable should be conducted considering issues such as reasonable accommodation and possible alternative solutions before even considering dismissal.