Africa

Labour law expert calls for court ruling on mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations

A proper court pronouncement on mandatory COVID-19 vaccination would give greater clarity on the technical aspects of the issue, labour law expert Aadil Patel said.

JOHANNESBURG – A proper court pronouncement on mandatory COVID-19 vaccination would give greater clarity on the technical aspects of the issue.

That’s the view of an employment law expert who participated in a discussion hosted by the Stellenbosch University Business School on Thursday.

Earlier this year, the CCMA ruled in favour of two employers who fired contract workers that refused to get immunised.

Head of employment law at legal firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, Aadil Patel, said that the CCMA did not establish legal precedent, but it gave some guidance in relation to its approach to vaccination mandates in the workplace.

“What we don’t have in South Africa is authoritative, legal report or a judgment that talks about whether mandatory vaccination is permissible within the workplace,” Patel said.

Patel emphasised that the objective of a workplace COVID-19 vaccine mandate was another important aspect.

“What the cases have not dealt with is that the efficacy of the vaccine within a workplace, what is your purpose, what are you trying to achieve and whether implementing a mandatory vaccination in a particular workplace will achieve your objective and whether there are not other measures in order to achieve a similar objective,” Patel explained.

A team of senior government officials led consultations with various parties and was expected to make recommendations to the National Coronavirus Command Council.




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