Labour Law Blog

Covid-19 vaccines can be made mandatory in South Africa with effect from 11 June 2021

The Department of Employment and Labour has issued an updated occupational health and safety directive which, among other things, expressly permits an employer to implement a mandatory workplace vaccination policy subject to specific guidelines.   The Minister of Employment and Labour has gazetted a consolidated Directive on Occupational Health and Safety Measures in certain workplaces.  These regulations are effective from the 11th June 2021 and have to be followed with […]

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PROTECT WHISTLE-BLOWERS

Companies should actively encourage employees to blow the whistle.   Whistle-blowing employees have considerable legal protection – the Labour Relations Act and Protected Disclosure Act, and against harassment by the Companies Act.   Companies should develop an effective whistle-blowing programme. It helps your business create a culture of transparency.   Employees who work in companies that encourage information sharing are far more engaged, productive, driven, more connected to the company’s […]

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Failure to follow and/or observe COVID-19 related health and safety protocols put in place at the workplace

The employee was charged with:   Gross misconduct related to his alleged failure to disclose to the employer that he took a COVID-19 test and was waiting for his results;   Gross negligence in that after receiving his COVID-19 test which he had failed to self-isolate, continued working and thus put the lives of his colleagues at risk. It was further alleged that during the period he had reported for […]

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Work related injuries due to alcohol or drug abuse

Medical aid and insurance providers generally reject claims for accidents that are alcohol or drug related in the workplace.   Employers should ensure that they are providing a safe working environment by taking all measures necessary to prevent employee accidents that are caused by alcohol consumption or drug abuse.   Employees that report for duty under the influence of alcohol or drug abuse present is a real danger to themselves, […]

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Earning Threshold with effect from 01 March 2021

The legislation is only applicable to employees meaning any person, excluding an independent contractor, who works for another person or for the state and who receives, or is entitled to receive, any remuneration and any other person who in any manner assists in carrying on or conducting the business of the employer.   As from the 1st March 2021 this earnings threshold has been increased by the Minister of Employment […]

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The effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the employees’ mental well-being

One year has nearly lapsed since the South African Government imposed a National Lockdown at midnight the 26 March 2020, for an initial period of approximately three weeks. Since then there have been further labour protocols implemented for those employees returning to work. Employers had to implement various regulations to safe guard the employees’ health and safety in the workplace.   Thousands of employees have experienced work related issues during […]

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Domestic Worker’s employees are now included under Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 (COIDA)

Domestic Worker’s employees are now covered under the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA). This means that Domestic Worker’s employees will now be entitled for compensation in the event they are injured or contract diseases while on duty.   As per the Act, the employee is a person who has entered into or works under contract of service or of apprenticeship or learnership, with an employer, whether the […]

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COVID-19 USED AS EXCUSE TO AXE DOMESTIC WORKERS

Employers of domestic workers have used the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse/reason to terminate the services of their domestic worker.   I have had numerous employers approach me to terminate the services of their domestic worker due to COVID-19, but cannot cite this as the reason for termination as it constitutes an automatically unfair dismissal on the grounds of illness. The domestic worker could claim up to 24 months’ compensation […]

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Employer to draft it’s own COVID-19 policies and protocols which employees are to comply with in the workplace

An employer should draft COVID-19 policies and protocols for it’s workplace, train it’s staff members in relation thereto and ensure that the staff have written copies thereof which each staff member signs to verify receipt thereof.   It’s imperative that there should be a screening protocol for all staff arriving at work on a daily basis. The staff should complete a sheet reflecting a checklist of possible symptoms and sign […]

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Can Employers force Employees to be vaccinated in their respective workplaces?

Although employers have an obligation in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act to provide a safe workplace, employees have a corresponding Constitutional right to security and control over their bodies.   Our Government policy states that vaccinations are not compulsory.   Notwithstanding the above, employers have to ensure that their employees adhere to COVID-19 protocols in the workplace. Namely employees are to maintain physical distancing, sanitise frequently […]

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