Judicial

Employees can consult labour ministry on mandatory vaccination: Dausab

Summary

Justice Minister Yvonne Dausab has advised aggrieved employees who are subjected to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination by their employers, to consult the Ministry of Labour and Employment Creation.This follows an outcry by the public on the legal stance on…

Justice Minister Yvonne Dausab has advised aggrieved employees who are subjected to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination by their employers, to consult the Ministry of Labour and Employment Creation.

This follows an outcry by the public on the legal stance on mandatory vaccinations at workplaces, sparked by some companies who have mandated their employees to get vaccinated or face being banned from their respective workplaces.

Dausab, while speaking at the COVID-19 briefing here on Thursday, explained that the Labour Act has a provision that addresses health matters in the workplace and employees who are unhappy about the conduct of the employers should be guided by the law, noting that the implementation of mandatory vaccination at a workplace should be guided by labour policies.

“At the moment, vaccination is considered to be voluntary. In this regard employees should approach the Ministry of Labour to investigate the circumstance and provide guidance to the particular institution,” she noted.

Dausab further explained that while the government's stance remains that vaccination is voluntary, there are competing interests between individuals to decide how they want to conduct themselves and interact in society and the government's responsibility to protect public health, adding that though the constitution of democracy has limitation grounds, thus far, the government has not forced anyone to get vaccinated.

“It is quite interesting how the public is disingenuous about how they react to the government's intentions to protect the public good and when people want to travel they actually comply with the requirements elsewhere, but just not in our jurisdiction. People must really make a decision of how they want to really interact in this particular society of ours,” she said.

She noted that though there has not been a blanket application for mandatory vaccination, citizens still have a choice which is limited by the choice and rights of others, adding that the government hopes to have a court decision about such competing interests.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency