[imagesource: Reuters / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / File Photo]
I’m so, so glad that we no longer have those anti-vaxxer protests along the Sea Point Promenade or, worse still, outside Cape hospitals.
You’re free to voice your opinion and beliefs, but there’s a special place in hell for people who harass healthcare workers while they try and save lives.
As was to be expected with more and more people returning to on-site working, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has dealt with a number of vaccine mandate cases.
In January, the CCMA found in favour of Goldrush Group’s decision to sack Theresa Mulderiji after the business had put a vaccine mandate in place.
A few days later, the CCMA ruled that Ndaka Security Services suspending Gideon Kok for refusing to be vaccinated was “fair and in line with the Occupational Health and Safety Act”.
A third ruling has just been handed down this week, reports GroundUp, with the CCMA finding that the dismissal of an “anti-vaxxer” was fair.
However, the manner in which the employee was dismissed earned a rebuke:
The ruling was centred on the dismissal of articled clerk Dale Dreyden from Wellington-based law firm Duncan Korabie Attorneys at the end of August 2021.
The firm had a mandatory vaccination policy because its owner, Duncan Korabie, suffered from life-threatening conditions, had co-morbidities, and had been advised by his doctors to minimise possible exposure to Covid.
Other employees, who worked in an open plan office, were also considered high risk or had relatives with co-morbidities.
Working from home was not an option in this instance due to alleged cybercrime.
When Korabie stated that employees needed to be vaccinated in order to continue working there, Dreyden responded by talking about “anti-vaccination” footage on social media.
He also said his father had cured people using ivermectin.
Korabie then sent a group WhatsApp message giving all employees ten days to get the jab. Failing to do so would result in dismissal.
Dreyden responded, reaffirming his decision not to be vaccinated. That same day, Korabie responded saying, “thank you for your notice” … “Tomorrow will be your last day … you don’t have to come in. I will pay you until tomorrow.”
In handing down the ruling, the commissioners said Dreyden showed a “willingness to follow so-called conspiracy theories about the vaccine”.
Korabie was found to be at fault for dismissing Dreyden via a WhatsApp message and without proper consultation.
Because of this, the firm was ordered to pay Dreyden a month’s compensation as well as four weeks’ notice pay.
The clerk was earning R2 500 a month, meaning the firm will have to pay just over R4 800 by March 25.
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