Tujoromajo Kasuto

With effect from February 1st, Letshego will prohibit workers who have not been vaccinated from entering their premises.

All employees are required to be fully vaccinated by 31 January if they wish to come into the office. In a briefing to employees the Chief Executive officer (CEO), Ester Kali, says employees who are not vaccinated will not be allowed to enter the premises in the interest of maintaining a safe and healthy working environment, and as a result should work from home with limited support.

She states that a “Pandemic Management Policy” strict protocols geared at protecting the wellbeing and safety of their employees, customers and shareholders will be shared with employees during the period of this month. “Non adherence to the policy and protocols will not be taken lightly and will [lead] to serious consequences for employees who do not comply,” she adds.

Kali further states that colleagues are encouraged to protect their family, friends and workmates by ensuring they get vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the Namibian government has said that it is not considering legislation that would require anyone to get vaccinated against Covid at this time. However, refusing to be vaccinated may have ramifications for work or participation in specific activities.

The Legal Assistance Center (LAC) maintains the Namibian Constitution protects the right to personal liberty, the right to human dignity and the right to carry on any occupation, trade or business. These rights would arguably be restricted by a vaccine mandate for employees.

The important question is whether a vaccination requirement enforced by individual companies to preserve the health of their employees would be a reasonable infringement of such rights.

However, LAC notes that Namibia’s Labour Act gives employers a duty to protect the health of their workers and any members of the public who come into contact with the workplace but adds that only Namibian courts may asses whether vaccination requirements are constitutional.