- Qantas (QAN) will require all of its 22,000 staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 15
- Exceptions will only be made for those with documented medical reasons, which Qantas anticipates will be “very rare”
- CEO Alan Joyce affirms employees still have a right to choose but says many staff will be concerned about working with unvaccinated colleagues
- All remaining employees will have until March 31 2022 to receive their vaccinations
- Qantas shares closed today’s session down 0.45 per cent to trade at $4.40.
Qantas (QAN) will require all of its 22,000 staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 15.
Australia’s largest airline announced the policy on its website today after seeking feedback on vaccinations from its employees across the Qantas and Jetstar groups.
Under the new policy, all frontline workers including cabin crew, pilots and airport staff will have until November 15 to be fully vaccinated, with all remaining employees given until March 31 2022.
The decision makes Qantas the second Australian airline with a mandatory immunisation policy. It joins its investee company Alliance Airlines which announced its mandatory policy for COVID-19 vaccinations in May.
The ASX-lister said there would be exceptions only for those with documented medical reasons, which they expect to be “very rare”.
Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said having a fully vaccinated workforce would protect its customers and the communities to which it flies.
“It’s clear that vaccinations are the only way to end the cycle of lockdowns and border closures and for a lot of Qantas and Jetstar employees that means getting back to work again,” he said.
In the statement, Mr Joyce acknowledged it was a staff member’s right not to get vaccinated but did not specify how the company would deal with an employee who elected not to get vaccinated.
“Many of our people said they would feel concerned about working with unvaccinated colleagues, which is something that many workplaces across the country are grappling with,” Mr Joyce said.
“We understand there will be a very small number of people who decide not to get the vaccine, and that’s their right, but it’s our responsibility to provide the safest possible environment for our employees and for our customers.”
Qantas received responses from 12,000 of the 22,000 employees who were sent the survey.
Of those 12,000 staff members, it found 89 per cent had at least one vaccine dose or planned to be vaccinated and 60 per cent were already fully vaccinated.
Just four per cent said they were unwilling or unable to get the vaccine.
Qantas shares closed today’s session down 0.45 per cent to trade at $4.40.