Discovery’s decision to enforce mandatory COVID vaccination described as bold

Discovery has cited a legal obligation to protect and safeguard all its employees from all potential risks.

One of Discovery Health's vaccination sites. Picture: @Discovery_SA/Twitter.

JOHANNESURG - The decision taken by medical aid and financial service provider, Discovery, to enforce mandatory vaccination for its employees in January next year has been described as bold.

ALSO READ: Discovery makes COVID vaccine jab compulsory for staff

Discovery is the second employer in South Africa to make the announcement, citing a legal obligation to protect and safeguard all its employees from all potential risks.

Labour Law consultant Tony Healy said Discovery and most recently Curro were relying on the recent directive issued by Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi.

The June directive stated, among other points, that if employers decided to make it mandatory to vaccinate once a risk assessment had been conducted, they then had to identify which of its employees would be required to be vaccinated.

This would be done through identifying employees whose work posed a risk of transmission or a risk of severe COVID-19 disease or death due to their age or comorbidities.

Healy said the big test would come about when the employers dismissed workers who unjustifiably and unreasonably refused to vaccinate.

On Thursday, Discovery said its process would consider employee’s health, religious and other legal rights and balance these against the rights of all workers in the group.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.