Consolidated Direction of Occupational Health and Safety Measures in Certain Work Places.

Sub-directive 14 regulates an employee’s refusal to perform any work due to exposure to COVID-19 and states that:-

  1. an employee may refuse to work if with reasonable justification it appears to the employee or a

    Health and Safety Representative (H & S Rep) that the work poses an imminent and serious risk to COVID-19.

  2. Employee may refuse to work whether or not he or she has used or exhausted any other applicable external or internal procedure;
  3. an employee refusing to perform work must notify the employer within reasonable time, personally or via a H & S Rep of refusal and reason thereof;
  4. every employer notified of refusal must:-

    4.1. attempt to resolve any issue that may arise from right of refusal (after consulting the compliance officer or Health and Safety Rep or Committee);

    4.2. notify inspector, if matter cannot be resolved internally, of refusal and advise employee and all other parties involved that inspector has been notified; and

    4.3. comply with any prohibition issued by inspector – section 30 of OHSA.

  5. No person may benefit from or promise any benefit to employee to refuse to work and no person may threaten to take action against employee refusing or intends to refuse to work.
  6. No employee may be dismissed, disciplined or harassed for refusing to work and if there is a dispute about the refusal the employee may refer a dispute to the CCMA or relevant Bargaining Council.

Sub-directive 15 regulates deductions from an employee’s remuneration and states that no deduction may be made from an employee’s remuneration and no employer may require or permit an employee to pay the employer or any other person for anything which the employer is obliged to provide or to do.

Sub-directive 16 regulates the monitoring and enforcement of the Consolidated Directive and states that:-

  1. Minister of Employment and Labour may authorise local authorities to perform certain inspector

    functions – Section 42(3) of OHSA;

  2. failure to comply: an inspector may any function and exercise any powers to monitor compliance – Sections 29 and 30 of OHSA;
  3. where contravention of the Consolidated Directive is a contravention of an obligation or prohibition in terms of OHSA, penalties of OHSA apply – Section 38 of OHSA;
  4. an inspector may advise employees and employers of their rights and obligations.

The Minister of Employment and Labour may from time to time amend the Consolidated Directive

On 11 June 2021, the Minister of Employment and Labour gazetted an Amended Consolidated Directive on measures to address, prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19 in certain workplaces (“Consolidated Directive”). The Consolidated Directive repeats some of the important measures such as Risk Assessments and plans, Administrative Measures, Social Distancing and Symptom Screening, sanitising, disinfecting and washing of hands that has been published and gazetted by the Department in previous Directives.

The Consolidated Directive also includes a number of other additional regulations that must be adhered to by every employer and employee.

The Consolidated Directive shall apply for the duration of the national state of disaster and:-

  1. applies to employers and employees permitted to continue or resume operations;
  2. does not apply to a workplace excluded in ten terms of section 1(3) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993, as amended (“OHSA”); and
  3. employers with less than 10 employees – only apply with measures in sub-directive 12;
  4. To not permit the employee to enter the workplace or report for work if displaying symptoms or has advised of symptoms.

Sub-directive 9 regulates measures in workplaces to which the public has access to and states that the measures in place must protect employees and the public from being exposed to COVID-19 through their interactions in the workplace.

Sub-directive 12 regulates small businesses where an employer has 10 employees or less and states that where such an employer is permitted to resume operations it must develop a basic plan for phasing in the return of its employees and must consider those employees able to work remotely, over the age of 60 years old and those with co-morbidities.

Sub-directive 13 regulates employees’ / workers obligations and states that OHSA obligations of employees are applicable and every employee is obliged to comply with measured introduced by their employer.

Sub-directive 14 regulates an employee’s refusal to perform any work due to exposure to COVID-19 and states that:-

  1. an employee may refuse to work if with reasonable justification it appears to the employee or a

    Health and Safety Representative (H & S Rep) that the work poses an imminent and serious risk to COVID-19.

  2. Employee may refuse to work whether or not he or she has used or exhausted any other applicable external or internal procedure;
  3. an employee refusing to perform work must notify the employer within reasonable time, personally or via a H & S Rep of refusal and reason thereof;
  4. every employer notified of refusal must:-

    4.1. attempt to resolve any issue that may arise from right of refusal (after consulting the compliance officer or Health and Safety Rep or Committee);

    4.2. notify inspector, if matter cannot be resolved internally, of refusal and advise employee and all other parties involved that inspector has been notified; and

    4.3. comply with any prohibition issued by inspector – section 30 of OHSA.

  5. No person may benefit from or promise any benefit to employee to refuse to work and no person may threaten to take action against employee refusing or intends to refuse to work.
  6. No employee may be dismissed, disciplined or harassed for refusing to work and if there is a dispute about the refusal the employee may refer a dispute to the CCMA or relevant Bargaining Council.

Sub-directive 15 regulates deductions from an employee’s remuneration and states that no deduction may be made from an employee’s remuneration and no employer may require or permit an employee to pay the employer or any other person for anything which the employer is obliged to provide or to do.

Sub-directive 16 regulates the monitoring and enforcement of the Consolidated Directive and states that:-

  1. Minister of Employment and Labour may authorise local authorities to perform certain inspector

    functions – Section 42(3) of OHSA;

  2. failure to comply: an inspector may any function and exercise any powers to monitor compliance – Sections 29 and 30 of OHSA;
  3. where contravention of the Consolidated Directive is a contravention of an obligation or prohibition in terms of OHSA, penalties of OHSA apply – Section 38 of OHSA;
  4. an inspector may advise employees and employers of their rights and obligations.

The Minister of Employment and Labour may from time to time amend the Consolidated Directive.

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