Any blanket decision to make vaccination compulsory will be unlawful. Solidarity has made public a comprehensive legal opinion obtained from external advocates which shows that any unilateral decision to make vaccination compulsory in the workplace will not stand up in court.
Solidarity has also embarked on a comprehensive process among its members to obtain a mandate to dispute any such blanket resolution from employers making vaccination compulsory.
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“According to the legal opinion, it is clear that employers must function within the framework of labour legislation and this framework does not make provision for the compulsory vaccination of employees,” says Dr Dirk Hermann, Solidarity chief executive.
“Moreover, under our Constitution every person has the right to bodily integrity, which means that every person has the preponderant right to take decisions on possible health and medical interventions himself/herself.”
Solidarity argues that while certain proponents of compulsory workplace vaccination contend that the employer has such right in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (No 85 of 1993) the Act, however, prescribes that a proper consultation process must take place with an employee, and that all possible remedies must first be exhausted before an employer may consider drastic steps.
“After having been overwhelmed by enquiries about compulsory vaccination in the workplace we obtained legal opinion. According to this opinion the benefit of choice will vest strongly with an employee,” explains Hermann.
“It is simply unlawful for an employer to compel an employee to be vaccinated, and it can even be argued that both in terms of Criminal and Constitutional Law it infringes on each individual’s personal right to bodily integrity.
“We will not hesitate to protect our members with the full might of the law should employers take such drastic decisions,” concludes Hermann.
Click here to read the full legal opinion.