Security company in the North West accused of vaccine discrimination

18 August 2021

Employees of Tyeks Security Services at Ganyesa in the North West are accusing their employer of vaccine discrimination.

COVID-19 vaccination guidelines for the workplace:

Workers at the security company, which operates in 6 of the 9 provinces, say their employer issued a memo to all personnel on 10 August to inform them that ” it is mandatory for all employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19 within the next 30 days.”  However, the workers say this is just a ploy by the company to get rid of them to make space for other preferred candidates.

One of the employees hired by Tyeks Security Services to provide security in various clinics in and around Ganyesa says, “We received a letter forcing us to get vaccinated whether we like it or not. Failing which, you lose your job. And the way the president spoke he was clear that the vaccine is voluntary. Vaccination is not mandatory.”

He and his colleagues find themselves caught between unwillingly getting vaccinated or possibly losing their jobs.

“My one question is: what will happen to my health when I get vaccinated unwillingly because I always have complications because of my chronic condition?”

“We have signed a 3-month contract with them and we have only worked for them for a month. By the end of September, we would have worked for 3-months and be eligible to sign a three-year contract. But in my view, I think they want to use this vaccination thing to see who they can get rid of in these three months.”

While vaccinations remain largely voluntary, the Department of Employment and Labour recently released an Amended Consolidated Direction on Occupational Health and Safety Measures in certain workplaces to provide guidelines for employers to make vaccinations mandatory.

According to the new directions, while not every employee poses a risk of transmission or severe disease, the employer can determine whether an employee is required to be vaccinated by identifying those employees whose work poses a risk of transmission or a risk of severe COVID-19 disease or death due to their age or comorbidities.

However, according to labour expert, Mamokgethi Molopyane, these new directions have come with many ambiguities.

“When there is no clarity and instead of clarity there is ambiguity where it is open for interpretation, often what happens is that the employer will simply say that well I am enforcing it as I see fit per my company or my workplace but also in the industry that I work in. And so that leaves many workers vulnerable to being compelled or forced by the employer to be vaccinated to show the proof of vaccination.”

Efforts to get a comment from both Tyeks Security Services and the provincial department of labour bore no fruit.

Source: SABC News at https://www.sabcnews.com/sabcnews/security-company-in-the-north-west-accused-of-vaccine-discrimination/?fbclid=IwAR0x-0cex6ijICwsw5YU902xl1F9t2ZIeI2CV4Fi29My-uIrHi4nWjuhgLk