There is no doubt it – these are challenging times for employers and employees alike. The ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to be felt for some years to come and in the meantime, businesses have to do everything they can to keep operating and help keep the struggling economy going. This is why a development like the Compensation Fund for those who suffer COVID-19-related side effects makes all the difference.

Officially, the fund will cover employees for injuries, illness or death after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. However, there are terms and conditions that workers and business owners have to be aware of.

Compensation will only become applicable under specific conditions:

  • Mandatory vaccination due to employment requirements determined by the employer’s risk assessment.
  • The employee must have been vaccinated with the SAHPRA-approved COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The employee must provide evidence 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 28 May 2021.
  • The chronological order between receipt of the vaccine and the development of symptoms and clinical signs must be provided.
  • The employee must have presented with symptoms and clinical signs that are generally recognised as side-effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Additional tests may be required to assess the presence of abnormalities of any organ affected.

Claims will be adjudicated and compensation determined and paid in terms of the Act and guidelines of the Compensation Fund.

It is also important to point out that COVID-19 vaccination is a topic of increasing debate in the market. It is not an easy situation and there is a juggling act that must be performed by everyone – employers must weigh up the necessity to continue to operate but also consider the wellbeing of staff, and employees have to remain diligent but also bear their health and safety in mind.

The COVID-19 Compensation Fund notice does not serve to establish any law, regulation or rule that employers should subject their employees to be vaccinated against their will.

As always, we strongly advise and advocate that employers and employees make themselves aware of all the information available.

Click here to view the government notice.

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