Employers group challenges rules for managing exposure to COVID in the workplace

The National Employers’ Association of South Africa (Neasa) is challenging the new code of practice for managing exposure to COVID in the workplace.

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JOHANNESBURG - The National Employers’ Association of South Africa (Neasa) is challenging the new code of practice for managing exposure to COVID in the workplace.

The new code was implemented last month aimed at guiding employers and employees in managing exposure to COVID at work.

Neasa’s position is that it goes beyond providing “guidance” and imposes certain obligations on employers who may be sanctioned if they don’t comply.

In particular, the organisation takes issue with certain sections which relate to the incorporation of regulations contained in the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

It has turned to the Pretoria High Court to challenge the code.

The code provides that insofar as any contravention thereof constitutes a contravention of the act or the regulations, it also constitutes an offence and can attract a penalty.

The union believes the code infringes on and restricts various constitutional rights, including the rights to dignity, privacy, bodily integrity, the freedom of trade and occupation, freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, belief and opinion of the individual.