Curro to remove unvaxxed job seekers from its database

Neasa CEO Gerhard Papenfus said while the CCMA award did not create a legal precedent, he conceded that 'it will influence' many employers to dismiss unvaxxed employees.

Independent school network Curro has become the latest company to impose a vaccination mandate on its employees, and in the latest, has notified job seekers not to waste their time applying for jobs if they are not vaccinated.

While the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has ruled twice in favour of employers suspending employees for refusing to be vaccinated, it seems the roof is slowly caving in for anti-vaxxers as the debate for mandatory vaccines in the workplace intensifies.

Lately Curro has been sending emails to jobseekers notifying them of their policy.

“Curro is a mandatory vaccination employer,” reads the email.

“The implication of this is that we can only appoint vaccinated staff. Please take this opportunity to update your vaccination status by completing and uploading the necessary information. If you have not updated your status and remain non-vaccinated by 28 February 2022, your profile will be deleted from the database.”

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Professor Glenda Davison, associate professor and head of the biomedical sciences department at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, said the country was not going to fully beat Covid until more than 80% of the population was inoculated.

“So yes, it is probably time to think about this.

“Other countries have made it mandatory with success and others have made vaccination compulsory to attend certain events and have access to restaurants,” she said.

“One of the biggest risks is the development of more variants which are likely to arise if the virus is able to replicate uncontrollably.”

Public health lawyer Safura Abdool Karim said the government should have made its decision months ago.

“This will create some kind of uniformity and it might also expand the scope of the mandate.”

Vaccinologist Professor Shabir Madhi said mandatory vaccination of adults to partake in gatherings would assist in ensuring that South Africa does not experience a swell of severe disease cases when there would be a resurgence.

Last week, the CCMA made landmark rulings in favour of employers dismissing unvaccinated employees and this has since reignited the vaccine mandate debate.

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Organised labour at National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) has since expressed disappointment at recent rulings.

Labour organisations represented by Cosatu, Fedusa and the National Congress of Trade Unions (Nactu) said they supported the government’s immunisation programme but said that they were against the dismissal of employees for refusing to be vaccinated.

The National Employers’ Association of South Africa (Neasa) CEO Gerhard Papenfus, said the CCMA award did not create a legal precedent, he conceded that “it will influence” many employers to dismiss unvaxxed employees.

  • Additional reporting by Reitumetse Makwea

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