Financial services firm Discovery has plans to move to a mandatory vaccination policy from 1 January 2022. In its annual results published on 2 September, the group said that it had a moral and legal obligation to introduce the policy.
Discovery currently employs 12 950 employees across its key healthcare, banking and financial businesses.
“Discovery intends to move to a mandatory vaccination policy effective 1 January 2022 given the clear moral and social obligation, as informed by our core purpose to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives,” it said.
It added that the move is also guided by its values, “acting as a force for social good and supported by a legal obligation to protect and safeguard all employees from all potential risks.”
Private businesses are permitted to introduce their own vaccination policies and the government is looking at options to make mandatory vaccination national policy on some level.
On Friday (27 August), Minister Joe Phaahla said that the Department of Health is considering its options and receiving legal advice on the matter.
Phaahla said that mandatory vaccinations have been raised for official consideration, with the health department discussing the conditions under which mandatory vaccines may be possible. He also alluded to additional restrictions on South Africans who have not been vaccinated which could include limiting the use of public amenities.
The Department of Labour and Employment have already given directives allowing employers to decide on whether to make vaccination mandatory, he said.
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