Making an Informed Decision: Vaccinations and the Workplace
A Vaccinated Industry is a Safe, Sustainable and Successful Industry
The SAHRC weighs in on mandatory vaccination in the workplace
A huge concern playing on everyone’s minds these days in South Africa and the world as well is whether to get vaccinated against the covid-19 virus. What will it mean to make the choice for or against it for ourselves and friends and family? What will our choice mean for our freedoms and rights?
A number of countries have recently made vaccination mandatory for foreign travellers. The U.S. is launching a new travel system on November 8, requiring foreign air travellers to show proof of full vaccination and negative test for covid-19, with even more stringent testing requirements for unvaccinated domestic U.S. travellers.
France has made vaccination mandatory for all adult health care and home healthcare workers. Canada has made it mandatory for all federal employees and all air, ship and train travellers. Fiji has put a “no jab, no job” policy into place effective August 15th 2021. Italy has made it obligatory for workers to show either proof of vaccination, of a negative test or recent recovery from infection. The Netherlands has announced that a “corona pass” showing proof of vaccination is required to go to bars, restaurants, clubs or cultural events.
As the covid vaccination programme in South Africa gains ground, not only are more businesses in South Africa looking at making vaccination mandatory for employees and consumers, but there is the very real concern for the potential for unfair discrimination against those who feel vaccination is not the route for themselves or their families.
This past week, The Citizen published the response of the South Africa Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to this question. This is a critical question those in the hair and beauty industry have to think about with regards not only for their personal feelings but for their very jobs that put bread on their tables for their families.
Click HERE to read full article.
Essentially, the SAHRC itself has ruled that employers are within their rights to fire staff who won’t vaccinate, especially if the company has imposed a mandatory vaccine policy.
From a legal standpoint, it would appear that employers who dismiss an employee for failing to be vaccinated will not have infringed on that person’s constitutional rights, nor will this constitute unfair discrimination.
This interpretation of the law is supported by the South Africa Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), on the basis of the right to life vs right to bodily integrity. It has stated that the right to life and safety against infection by covid-19 outweighs the right to bodily integrity, in this situation.
What will you do? With this employment development coming soon to the industry, salon owners and stylists, employers and employees have to give some real thought to how they will proceed in this new environment.
If a salon puts a mandatory vaccination policy into place for its employees, what can these employees expect? They have to consider their jobs may be on the line in this scenario. Careful thought needs to be given to their future employability and their families’ livelihood.
Salons have to consider their bottom line, not only with their employees' vaccination status and possible sick leave needing coverage, but their business growth with clients’ safety and peace of mind regarding a well-publicised safe salon. A “safe salon” will mean more feet in the door as part of their business strategies that will make a meaningful difference to the bottom line.
As covid-19 vaccination becomes more and more a factor in business life and business success, owners and stylists have to think about what they will do and what plans need to be put into place, should a national vaccination mandate become reality.
To vaccinate or not to vaccinate.
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We’ve asked some of our top professionals in the industry to share their thoughts with us and each week we’ll be sharing their stories for you to enjoy. If you have a positive experience you’d like to share with us on the vaccine and the differences it’s made in your personal life or your salon and with your clients’ appreciation of their salon experiences, please send to Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org , with a photo you’d like us to use!
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