On Thursday, 01 October 2020, Notice R.1031 was published in Government Gazette No. 43751, in terms of which the Minister of Employment and Labour issued Consolidated Directions on Occupational Health and Safety Measures in certain workplaces ("the Consolidated COVID-19 Directions"). The Consolidated COVID-19 Directions replaces the COVID-19 Direction on Health and Safety in the Workplace issued by the aforesaid Minister on Thursday, 04 June 2020 (Notice 639 of Government Gazette No. 43400).

The Consolidated COVID-19 Directions stipulates measures that must be taken by employers in order to protect the health and safety of workers and members of the public, at workplaces. The employers and workplaces to which the Consolidated COVID-19 Directions apply are set out in clause 2, and relates to industries outside of the mining industry. The measures provided for in the Consolidated COVID-19 Directions include, amongst others:

  • risk assessments and plans for protective measures at a workplace;
  • administrative measures at a workplace, which include, amongst others, the appointment of a manager as a COVID-19 compliance officer;
  • measures for social distancing and symptom screening;
  • personal protective equipment;
  • specific measures for workplaces to which the public have access; and
  • ventilation controls at a workplace.

The Consolidated COVID-19 Directions also provides for the obligation of employees to comply with the measures implemented by an employer in accordance with the aforesaid directions, and matters relating to the refusal by employees to work due to exposure to COVID-19.

The Consolidated COVID-19 Directions do not reduce the existing obligations of the employer in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993, nor does it prevent an employer from implementing more stringent measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at workplaces.

The Consolidated COVID-19 Directions came into effect on the date of its publication on 01 October 2020.

Click here to view a copy of the Consolidated COVID-19 Directions.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.