In 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic swept across the globe, governments provided guidelines to employers to assist them with how to isolate and quarantine infected and affected workers to slow the spread of the disease. As lockdowns shut down many countries, threatening to cripple economies, one act alone would prove vital in averting this possibility: employees were asked to work remotely from their homes. As the world returns to various levels of “normality”, this has become an on-going practice and in hindsight, resulted has many positive aspects for the employer, the employee, their families, as well as the environment!
On Wednesday 20th of October 2021, the government, in its continued effort to drive South Africa’s Covid vaccination rollout plan the goal of which his to achieve herd immunity, opened vaccinations for individuals aged from 12 to 18. The Coronavirus.co.za website reported that more than 39,000 children registered for vaccination and nearly 7,000 were vaccinated on the first day of the rollout to teenagers. As part of the #teenlivesmatter vaccine initiative, government submits that teenagers have died from Covid-19 and that it is time for children to receive their protection from the virus. To this end, the government has engaged with schools across the country to assist with the roll-out and regulated children in this age group do not require the permission of their parents or guardians, to receive the vaccine. All the child need do is visit a covid vaccination centre or attend a school-supported drive, with their ID book, birth certificate or passport.
Dear Employer 10 May 2021
Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout in Workplaces
The survey sent under cover of this email is being conducted by the National Department of
Health (Occupational Health and Safety Covid-19 Workstream) to assist in the planning for
vaccination of workers (and possibly families and community members in the geographic area
that you operate in). The survey is project managed by the Wits Health Consortium and
supported by the DG Murray Trust and B4SA.
It is necessary to get data on the number of workers that could be vaccinated at work sites to
facilitate the provision of sufficient vaccines as well as to identify which work-places might be
in a position to render vaccination services.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the special COVID-19 grant will be extended by three months. At the same time, the UIF TERS benefit scheme will continue for an additional month. This is a welcome relief for millions of people throughout South Africa
There is some hope for struggling workers and businesses who have not received money from the Unemployment Insurance Fund.
Employers will have until the end of October to submit their claims.
Payments stopped two weeks ago after the Auditor-General found millions awarded to ineligible people.
The Temporary Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) will resume this week.
Employers are having to deal with mental health issues within their organisations increasingly especially during Covid. This is becoming apparent when analysing sick leave data.
Many people ‘sweep’ mental health under the carpet however we decided it prudent to make employers aware of their responsibilities which are outlined below.
Employers have a duty in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act to ensure a safe working environment for their employees and this means being aware of the impact that stress can place on the performance of your employees.
Employer responsibilities include:
- Education and awareness surrounding mental illness