The Compensation Commissioner has published a Notice in the Government Gazette that sets out when the Compensation Fund will compensate employees for injuries, illness or death as a result of receiving a Covid-19 vaccine.
The Notice was published in terms of section 6A(b) of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (Coida).
The Compensation Fund will cover employees for injuries, illness or death as a result of receiving a Covid-19 vaccine only where vaccination is a mandatory condition of employment or where vaccination is required based on the occupational safety and health risk assessment conducted by the employer.
All the following requirements must be met for an employee to qualify for compensation:
- The vaccination must be regarded as an inherent requirement of the job (as informed by the employer’s risk assessment).
- The employee must be vaccinated with a Covid-19 vaccine approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority.
- Evidence of the employer’s occupational health and safety risk assessment and vaccination plan (as set out in the Consolidated Directions on Occupational Health and Safety Measures, dated 28 May 2021) must be provided.
- The chronological sequence between receiving the vaccine and the development of symptoms must be provided.
- The symptoms and clinical signs must be generally recognised as side-effects.
- Additional tests may be required to assess the presence of abnormalities of any organ affected.
According to the Notice, claims will be adjudicated, and the amount of compensation will be determined and paid according to Coida and the Compensation Fund’s guidelines.
The Compensation Commissioner emphasised that the Notice must not be interpreted to establish any law, regulation or rule that employers may subject their employees to inoculation against their will.