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Employers can make vaccinations mandatory in the workplace

VAAL TRIANGLE - A new directive focusing on Covid-19 and the workplace was recently published and for the first time, the regulations also deal with the issue of vaccinations and whether an employer can make them mandatory. It gives an employer 21 days to make a decision on whether it intends to make vaccination mandatory, taking into account the operational requirements of the workplace. If a workplace does decide to make vaccinations mandatory, it is also required to identify employees who by virtue of the risk of transmission through work, age or co-morbidities, must be vaccinated. The directive states that employees still have a right to refuse the vaccine on constitutional or medical grounds. Should an employee refuse to be vaccinated on constitutional or medical grounds, the employer should take steps to reasonably accommodate an employee in a position that does not require them to be vaccinated. The directive states that this ‘accommodation’ means any reasonable change that would allow an employee to keep their job, such as working offsite or from home, in isolation at the workplace and may also include the requirement that the employee permanently wears a mask.

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