SOUTH AFRICA: MINISTER PUBLISHES NEW CODE OF GOOD PRACTICE FOR MANAGING COVID-19 IN THE WORKPLACE
On Friday, 24 June 2022, the Minister of Employment and Labour issued a new Code of Good Practice: Managing Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in the Workplace (June Code). It is applicable with immediate effect, thus from 24 June 2022, and was prepared and issued by NEDLAC.
In the Notice on 24 June 2022, the Minister indicated that the Code of Good Practice: Managing Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in the Workplace that was issued on 15 February 2022 (February Code), was made in error and is liable to be set aside through a High Court order. An application has been filed in the High Court to have it declared invalid.
There are no material differences between the February Code and the June Code, save for the section of the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (LRA) in terms of which the respective Codes were published.
The February Code was published in terms of section 203(2A) of the LRA, which permits the Minister of Employment and Labour to issue a code of good practice by publishing it in a Government Gazette if proposals relating to the code have been tabled and considered at NEDLAC, and NEDLAC has reported to the Minister that it has been unable to reach agreement in the matter.
The June Code, in contrast, has been prepared and issued by NEDLAC in terms of section 203(1) of the LRA, which empowers NEDLAC to prepare and issue codes of good practice and/or change or replace any code of good practice. A copy of the June Code can be accessed here.