Robyn Snyman and Bukhobethu Matyeni are candidate legal practitioners completing their practical vocational training. Both hold LLB degrees. They write in their personal capacity.
The gazetted directives, which spell out what employers have to do to introduce compulsory Covid-19 vaccination in their workplace - and the steps they have to take if they want to fire someone who refuses vaccination - are a useful starting point for employers and employees alike who want to know if someone can lose their job over the issue. But the matter is far from clear-cut and it will probably need to be tested in the courts for us to have legal clarity.
For many South Africans the Covid-19 pandemic has brought waves of uncertainty. Throughout, the pinnacle of uncertainty has always rested with the implications of the virus for the South African workforce.
The detection of the Omicron variant and President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that the government would be looking into the possibility of mandatory vaccinations have provoked a new wave of uncertainty among the public, particularly around the question of whether a refusal to get vaccinated can warrant dismissal. Can an employer dismiss an employee for refusing to get vaccinated? And would such...