It has taken a lot of regulatory intervention to help contain the effects of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the labour market. This is because at no point in recent times has there been a single phenomenon that has simultaneously crippled economic activity throughout the world. Additionally, what has exacerbated the situation is the virus has affected anyone and everyone; even those who have not been infected have been affected by its negative effects.
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The security of employment is of the utmost importance for so many people, as it assures their survival for the foreseeable future. The South African labour law regime was crafted in a way that seeks to protect employment security, since the bargaining power between employers and employees is somewhat skewed due to economic power between these two parties.
Now that the Department of Labour issued a Directive on 11 June 2021 with regards to mandatory vaccination policies in the workplace, it is crucial for employees to know what their legal position is in this situation. This article will attempt to present a guide of general application to employees so as to outline what their legal position is in terms of mandatory vaccination in the workplace.
Amongst key challenges is balancing economic activity on one hand, while ensuring that the pandemic is kept under control. In this vein, the measures in place as announced by government right from the beginning of the Lockdown Restrictions in March 2020 have had one underlying factor, that all services and economic activity which can be executed remotely, be encouraged to do so.
To achieve a safe working environment employers must adopt interventions and put measures in place that are necessary to do so. The Covid-19 virus has become the latest threat to workplace safety and employers are in a fix on how to approach the delicate issue of ensuring the safety of their employees against transmissions in the workplace.
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