Safeguarding the Workplace from COVID-19: Legal Obligations of Employers and Employees
As Covid-19 continues to spread, it is imperative that South African employers and their employees work together to safeguard their health and safety.
Section 8 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (OHSA) requires every employer to provide and maintain, as far as reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risks to the health of its employees.
The OHSA also imposes a duty on employees to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of other persons who may be affected in the workplace. Employees who act in violation of an employer’s health and safety rules or who disobey reasonable and lawful instructions in this regard may be subjected to appropriate disciplinary action. Blatant disregard for such rules or instructions could potentially be grounds for dismissal on the basis of misconduct.