Hein Kaiser
Journalist
2 minute read
30 Oct 2021
6:25 am

Mandatory vaccine: companies have to compensate staffers with adverse side-effects

Hein Kaiser

An employee who got the jab out of own volition cannot claim.

Covid-19 vaccinations. (Photo by Kena Betancur / AFP)

Companies which make Covid vaccinations mandatory for their staff will have to compensate their workers should they suffer any adverse side-effects from the jab.

This is one of the new rules by the labour department for mandatory Covid vaccination.

In an amendment on compensation for Covid vaccination side-effects, which was recently published in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, the Compensation Fund will now cover employees for injuries, illnesses or deaths which occurred as a result of the Covid vaccine.

But this applies only where a worker was required by the employer to receive vaccination as an inherent requirement of employment, or where vaccination was required based on [occupational health and safety] risk assessment conducted by the employer, said the notice.

The notice was signed by Compensation commissioner Vuyo Mafata.

The Compensation Fund will cover those who had vaccinated at sites approved by the South African Health Product Regulatory Authority (Sahpra).

Chronological sequence between vaccination and symptoms must be provided.

“The employee must have presented with symptoms and clinical signs generally recognised as side-effects of Covid vaccines and additional tests may be required to assess the presence of abnormalities of any organ affected,” the notice said.

ALSO READ: Mu B.1.621: Now classified as Covid-19 variant of interest

According to Sahpra’s adverse events following immunisation data, 139 deaths were reported following the jab between 17 May and 15 October. Ninety deaths were found to be coincidental, 50 were due to Covid itself and two from breakthrough infections.

Fourteen deaths were unclassified, meaning the cause of death could not be confirmed. But it won’t be so easy to claim.

The employee must prove the illness or death was definitely caused by the required vaccine, labour lawyer advocate Alexia Vosloo-DeWitt said.

An employee who got the jab out of own volition cannot claim.

Only those required by their employer, such as mineworkers or healthcare workers, to get the jab.

Secondly, the company should be registered with the Workmen Compensation Fund.

rorisangk@citizen.co.za