Retrenchment for refusal to vaccinate: Is an employee entitled to severance pay?

In a recent court case, it had to be determined whether an employee of a medical supply company was unfairly dismissed and whether they were still entitled to severance pay given their refusal to vaccinate.


The company had implemented a compulsory COVID-19 vaccination policy for its staff members, and the employee refused to comply, by which the retrenchment was filed on the basis of operational requirements. As with the condition of the refusal to vaccinate, the issue becomes one of operational loss for the employer and affects productivity and profit in the long run.


This poses the question; what are the requirements from an employer’s perspective to avoid such legal recourse?


An employment law expert at local firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr said that the employment policies need to be updated and clearly communicated with its employees. Adding to this, given the refusal by an employee to adhere to any policy changes, employment alternatives should be provided by the employer in order to state grounds for fair dismissal.  


Read the full article here


To speak to an expert on the below talking points, please contact me directly.


Talking points:

  • Procedural fairness and employment alternatives.
  • Retrenchment on the basis of operational requirements.
  • Legal terms around severance pay.