In an effort to reassure air travelers Virgin Australia is to require all staff to have a COVID jab by March.
The airline said that it believes that requiring vaccination is the best way to protect the health and safety of our workforce, and in turn the wider Australian community and everyone’s way of life.
Virgin Australia will start consultation with relevant unions, employees and safety committees before finalizing a final policy next month.
It is currently proposed that all frontline staff be vaccinated by November 15 and all office-based staff March 31, 2022.
It says that those with medical issues that can be substantiated will be managed on a case-by-case basis.
Virgin Australia chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka said that recent events have demonstrated that it only takes one person to create a knock-on effect which creates significant impacts for our employees and the community more broadly.
“Virgin Australia is not alone as a business in being deeply affected by the events of recent months. It is clear that vaccination is the only way back to normal freedom of movement and the richness in life that comes from spending meaningful, in-person time with family, friends, and colleagues.
“Vaccination is the only solution to the situation Australia currently finds itself in, and something we have determined is vital to keep our team safe, given the high public exposure most of them encounter day to day.
“The majority of our team at Virgin Australia are already vaccinated, and we will be listening to our team members to ensure we find the best fit policy for our organization. We will now commence discussing the proposed vaccination requirement in detail with our team through our internal safety committees, unions, and other appropriate forums.
“We know that some team members have questions and concerns about vaccinations. Through an internal campaign of education with qualified experts, we aim to inform and assure as many of our team members as possible.
“We trust medical experts, their advice, and the evidence that shows that vaccines save lives and reduce hospitalization rates.
“Virgin Australia recognizes the critical imperative to get the broader community vaccinated and will launch a competition this week to encourage as many people as we can to roll up their sleeves. We are also supportive of government-led measures to ensure travelers are vaccinated,” Ms. Hrdlicka said.
A recent survey of Virgin Australia staff found that over 75 percent have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with another 9 percent registered for vaccination