Mandatory Vaccinations: A roadmap for considering medical exemptions
Employers who wish to implement a mandatory vaccination policy must permit employees to raise objections or apply for exemption from the policy on the basis of, amongst others, medical grounds.
The road map below provides employers with some of the considerations to take into account when determining an exemption application based on medical grounds.
As always, the law in relation to the processing of personal information must be adhered to.
- What is the reason for the employee’s medical exemption application? Does the employee meet the company’s requirements for medical exemptions?
- What are the medical reasons the company is not willing to consider as grounds for a medical exemption? i.e.: previously having had COVID-19 or a history of minor vaccine side effects?
- Is the medical ground provided by the employee a scientifically valid and accepted ground against vaccination?
- Does the medical reason apply to all available COVID-19 vaccines?
- Is the medical exemption permanent or temporary in nature? Will the employee be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a later stage?
- Does the employee currently suffer from a medical condition or is the medical exemption based on pre-exiting condition(s)?
- Is there a direct link between the employees’ medical condition and their objection to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?
- Has the employee presented evidence in the form of a medical report from a registered medical practitioner to support their exemption application?
- Will the company allow opinions from traditional healers in support of an employees’ medical exemption application?
- Will the company have the right to independently verify the medical recommendations received? Will this be at the Company’s cost? Which team of persons will be appointed for this purpose?
- Can the employee be reasonably accommodated? i.e. continued remote working; working at the workplace but in isolation or other wearing a N95 mask, amongst others.
Medical Exemption: Dismissal must be a measure of last resort.