A Precedent-Setting CCMA Ruling on Mandatory Vaccination Policies in the Workplace

In South Africa, employers are now allowed to legally enforce mandatory vaccination policies onto their employees in an effort to create a safer workplace and reduce the risk of COVID-19 being spread among employees. Previously, employers had to conduct COVID-19 tests for their employees before they are allowed to enter the workplace, and report on their findings to inform their employees on the test results. Now, things have changed under new regulations, and employees are only obliged to report any COVID-19 symptoms to their employers as opposed to being tested daily, along with mandatory vaccination policies.

What Happens if I Don’t Comply to Mandatory Vaccination Policies?

The legal side of non-compliance to mandatory vaccination policies in the workplace offer grounds on which employees can refuse the vaccination, such as medical or constitutional human rights. However, a recent CCMA ruling created a precedent for this specific legal dispute – finding that the retrenchment of an employee and the non-payment of severance fees on the grounds of refusing to comply with mandatory vaccination policies were fair on the employer’s behalf. In this case, the CCMA ruled that the employer’s action to retrench was procedurally and substantively fair and within their legal rights.

Regarding the employee, the CCMA ruled that their choice to refuse the vaccination and not adhere to mandatory vaccination policies was unreasonable towards their employer and workplace, thus forfeiting any severance pay. Based on a risk assessment that was conducted by the company, along with the requirements that are presented by the newly enforced Consolidated Direction on Occupational Health and Safety Measures in Certain Workplaces, the legal dispute was rewarded to the employer.

Watch this space as there is no doubt that this will be challenged in the Constitutional Court.

Who Should I Turn to When I Need Legal Representation?

Allardyce & Partners Attorneys is your first choice when you need legal experts in the field of Labour and Employment Law in South Africa. We can represent your legal dispute on a “no win, no fee” contingency for people who earn more than R20 000 on a monthly salary, subject to our terms and conditions. Therefore, you have nothing to lose when you find yourself in a situation where you want to take legal action as a result of unfair retrenchment or dismissal in your workplace.

Trust your experts when it comes to Labour and Employment Law in South Africa by choosing Allardyce & Partners Attorneys in your time of need. Feel free to contact us on 011 234 2125 or email us at enquiries@allardyce.co.za if you want details on our legal services and take action with us in your corner today.

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