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Does the vaccination proof-requirement amount to unfair discrimination against people who have elected not to be vaccinated? The answer to this question is quite simply ‘NO’.
The publication of the revised Consolidated Directions on Occupational Health and Safety Measures in Certain Workplaces on 11 June 2021, does not mean that employers are now entitled by law to subject employees and independent contractors to mandatory vaccinations.
The answer to whether employers can force their employees to get vaccinated against Covid-19 involves weighing up individual constitutional rights against those of the public interest, consent, and in the absence of specific legislation, to inform them of the benefits.
The principle that individual rights are outweighed in certain circumstances is well established in our law, as indicated by a number of judgments which confirm that an individual’s right to refuse being vaccinated in terms of section 12(2)(b) of the Constitution is not cast in stone.