WCG – FAQ’s for the Vaccination in the workplace

Q1 – What is a workplace vaccination plan?

A vaccination plan is a document which amends an existing Occupational Health and Safety Plan or which the employer develops with the view of formalising the company’s stance on vaccinations and setting out the measures the company will implement to make sure the workplace is safe for all its employees. It should be developed after a risk assessment has been done. The risk assessment assesses the risks for the workplace and workers.

These risks include exposure to COVID-19, exposure to customers/members of the public, employees who have comorbidities or who are otherwise vulnerable, ability to social distance, the rate of infections and/or fatalities experienced in the workplace due to COVID-19 etc. On the basis of this risk assessment, the employer must develop a vaccination plan which indicates:

  • the protective measures in place for the phased return of its employees;
  • whether the employer intends to make the vaccine compulsory for any employees or to implement proactive initiatives to encourage workers to get vaccinated;
  • employees who will be required to be vaccinated if a compulsory vaccination policy is adopted; and
  • the processes, steps and initiatives that will be followed and implemented.

It is important, in developing such a plan, for an employer to consider the rights of employees to bodily integrity, freedom of religion, belief and opinion as set out in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 as well as any collective agreements which may already be in place which deal with the issue of mandatory vaccinations

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