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Compensation for Covid-19 vaccination side-effects

 

Dear Reader

 

On the 11th of June 2021, the Department of Employment and Labour issued guidance on vaccination policies in the workplace. This was done in the form of the amendment to the Consolidated Direction on Occupational Health and Safety Measures in Certain Workplaces.

 

The directive requires an employer to include in its risk assessment whether it intends to make vaccinations compulsory. Employers then had to submit their mandatory vaccination plans to Department of Employment and Labour.

 

Where an employee is vaccinated in terms of the mandatory vaccination plan, the employee would be entitled to paid time off for adverse side effects of the vaccine. Alternatively, the employer could register a claim with the Compensation Fund, in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.

 

On the 22nd of October the Compensation Fund published a notice on compensation for COVID-19 vaccination side-effects (G 45358 GeN 629).

 

According to the notice the Compensation Fund will cover employees for injuries, illness, or death as a result of receiving a Covid-19 vaccine.

 

This would be applicable only where an employee is required by the employer to receive vaccination as an inherent requirement of employment or where vaccination is required based on the Occupational Health and Safety risk assessment conducted by the employer.

 

According to the notice, the following requirements shall apply:

 

  1. The vaccination must be regarded as an inherent requirement of the job as determined by the employer’s risk assessment;

 

  1. The employee must have been vaccinated with SAHPRA-approved Covid-19 vaccine;

 

  1. Evidence must be provided of the employer’s Risk Assessment and Vaccination Plan as set out in paragraph 3(1)(a)(i)(ii) and (b) of the Consolidated Directions on Occupational Health and Safety Measures in Certain Workplaces dated 11 June 2021;

 

  1. The chronological sequence between the vaccine inoculation and the development of symptoms and clinical signs must be provided;

 

  1. The employee must have presented with symptoms and clinical signs that are generally recognised as side effects of Covid -19 vaccine; and

 

  1. Additional tests may be required to assess the presence of abnormalities of any organ affected.

 

The claims will be adjudicated and compensation will be determined and paid in terms of the COID Act and the Guidelines of Compensation Fund.

 

Nota Bene: This Notice must not be interpreted to establish any law, regulation or rule that employers may subject their employees to vaccine inoculation against their will.

 

I trust that the above-mentioned update would be useful.

 

Greetings

 

Tinus Boshoff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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