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  • In terms of the new directives by the Department, employers may enact a policy of mandatory vaccinations, but that the process must be accompanied by a thorough consultation process and must respect the rights of the employee.
  • Employers should consider all less intrusive and restrictive means to ensure occupational health and safety.
  • An employee’s right to bodily integrity may in limited instances be reasonably and proportionally limited.
  • An employee must consent to being vaccinated.
  • It is essential that any employer planning to implement mandatory workplace vaccinations must notify affected employees of their right to refuse vaccination on constitutional or medical grounds.
  • An employee may not summarily be dismissed for refusing to be vaccinated. Instead, reasonable steps must be taken by the employer to accommodate a refusing employee.

CAN YOU BE MANDATED BY YOUR EMPLOYER TO GET VACCINATED – AND IF YOU ARE INJURED BY THE VACCINE, CAN YOU SUE YOUR EMPLOYER?

Dear South Africa commissioned law firm Hurter Spies to provide a legal opinion the constitutionality of mandatory workplace vaccinations against Covid-19.

In SA and abroad, opinions vary as to the legality of vaccine mandates, though there is an emerging consensus that some form of balance has to be achieved when weighing up an employer’s obligation to provide a safe and secure working environment by deciding whether to enforce a mandatory vaccination policy viz-a-viz an individual’s rights as enshrined in the Constitution.

“These affected rights include the right to freedom and security of the person, which includes the right to bodily integrity, as well as the right to freedom of religion, belief and opinion,” says Hurter Spies.

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