Qantas Group to Require All Employees to be Fully Vaccinated Against COVID19

(17 Aug 2021)
The Qantas Group has confirmed that it will require
all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID19 as part of
its commitment to safety.

Frontline employees – including cabin crew, pilots
and airport workers – will need to be fully vaccinated by 15
November 2021, while the remainder of employees by 31 March 2022.

There will be exemptions for those who are unable
for documented medical reasons to be vaccinated, which is expected
to be very rare.

The policy follows consultation with Qantas and
Jetstar employees including a survey sent to 22,000 people to seek
their views on vaccination. The 12,000 responses received makes it
one of the biggest single surveys on this topic in Australia. The
results showed that of those who responded:

– 89% had already been vaccinated or are planning
to be;

– 4% were unwilling or unable to get the jab; and

– Around three-quarters think it should be a
requirement for all employees to be vaccinated and would be
concerned if other employees in the workplace weren’t vaccinated.

 Thousands of aviation workers supporting
international flights in New South Wales, South Australia and New
Zealand are already required to be vaccinated by those
jurisdictions. Multiple airlines around the world have also made
it a requirement.

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. One crew member can fly into multiple cities and
come into contact with thousands of people in a single day. Making
sure they are vaccinated given the potential of this virus to
spread is so important and I think it’s the kind of safety
leadership people would expect from us. We provide an essential service, so this will
help guard against the disruptions that can be caused by just one
positive COVID-case shutting down a freight facility or airport
terminal.”

Further discussions are set to take place with
employees, their health and safety representatives and unions over
the coming weeks on the detail of the policy, including how
medical exemptions will be applied.

Qantas Group Employee Survey on
Vaccinations

Almost 12,000 responses to survey, representing 60% of Australian-based Qantas Group employees.

89% have had at least one vaccine dose or
plan to be vaccinated;
77% have had at least one dose;
60% are fully vaccinated;
12% are booked or
planning to book;
7% undecided or preferred not to say; and
4% are unwilling or unable to get the vaccine.

A sampling of verbatim
comments from employees in support of vaccinations:

– It should be compulsory as a condition for
employment.

– I don’t want to work with anyone that has not had
it.

– Why should I come to work and have other co-workers that come
make me sick?

– My employer has a duty of care. All employees
need to be safe in the workplace. All employees walk past each
other. We all have to be safe.

– It is not something I would have
normally done but happy to do for a safe workplace and if it keeps
me and my family safe.

– I fully support everyone being
vaccinated so we can open the domestic and international borders
again.

“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. This was one of the largest responses to any survey we’ve
conducted, even with thousands of our people stood down, which
shows just how important this is for them,” Mr Joyce said. “Since vaccines became available, we’ve strongly
encouraged all of our people to get the jab and are offering paid
time off to get it done. We were really pleased to see from the
survey that more than three quarters of those who responded have
already rolled up their sleeve at least once and 60 per cent have
had both jabs. 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. 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.”

In a separate survey of more than 1,000 Qantas
customers, 92% said they expect Qantas crew to be fully
vaccinated.

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