Qantas Group announced yesterday the policy that all its frontline employees which includes cabin crew, pilots, and airport workers are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by 15th November 2021. Remaining employees should be vaccinated by 31st March 2022. Exemptions will be made in rare cases for those who give proper documented medical reasons as to why they couldn’t be vaccinated.
This policy has been formulated after organising a survey which was sent to 22,000 Qantas and Jetstar employees to gather their views on the COVID-19 vaccinations. The survey received 12,000 responses making it one of the biggest single surveys on COVID-19 jabs in Australia. The results of the surveys were as follows:
- 89% of the respondents had already been inoculated or are planning to be.
- 60% of them are fully vaccinated.
- 77% of the respondents had taken at least one dose
- 12% of the respondents have booked themselves for vaccines or planning to book.
- 7% of them are either indecisive or prefer not to comment.
- 4% of the respondents were reluctant or unable to take the vaccine.
About three-quarters of the respondents felt that it should be compulsory for all the employees to be vaccinated and it would be a huge concern for them if the colleagues in their workplace are not vaccinated.
There was a separate survey conducted for 1,000 Qantas customers, where 92% of the respondents expected the Qantas crew to be fully inoculated.
Multiple airlines have made COVID-19 jabs mandatory for their workers across the world. Jurisdictions including New South Wales, South Australia and New Zealand have also made vaccinations compulsory for thousands of aviation workers supporting international flights.
Alan Joyce, Qantas Group CEO said, “Having a fully vaccinated workforce will safeguard our people against the virus but also protect our customers and the communities we fly to.” He added that Qantas provides essential services and any case of Covid-19 can lead to the whole freight facility or airport terminal shutting down.The only way to end the cycle of lockdowns and border closures is to ensure vaccination for all.
Qantas has encouraged all its employees to take the COVID-19 jabs and even offered paid leaves for it. This is being done to ensure the safest possible environment for its employees and customers. The airline has said that while it acknowledges the rights of people who choose not to take the vaccine, it is adamant to fulfill its safety obligations.
According to the announcement, details of the policy including the criterion to decide about medical exemptions will further be discussed with employees, their health and safety representatives and unions over the coming weeks.