Employees can refuse to work because of COVID-19, with NO repercussions.

Employees can refuse to work with a reasonable fear of exposure to Covid-19. No evidence required – simply a reasonable belief that there is an imminent and serious risk of exposure to COVID-19.

The directive is silent on that matter of pay, but the principle of no work, no pay is applicable.

The employee must inform the employer as soon as possible personally, or via the health and safety representative, that they will not work and the reasons for doing so. The right of refusal applies whether or not the applicable external or internal procedures have been used.

Once the refusal is received, the employer must consult with the Compliance Officer and Health and Safety Committee to endeavor to resolve any issue arising from the refusal. The employee can refuse to work until the imminent and serious risk of exposure is dealt with. 

Other key points of the clause include:

• No employee may be dismissed, disciplined, prejudiced or harassed for refusing to perform any work in accordance with this right;
• No person may advantage or promise to advantage any person for not exercising this right;
• No person may threaten to take any action against an employee for exercising or intending to exercise the right.

The normal dispute process of Conciliation and Arbitration will take its course.  The language in the directive places the refusal right under the category of an Automatically Unfair Dismissal which carried the maximum compensation of 24 months.

Mark - 09:18 @ common, Industrial Relations, Human Resources, B-BBEE | Add a comment