Qantas to make COVID vaccine mandatory for all staff

Qantas will require all staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with only limited exemptions for medical reasons.

Frontline airline staff including pilots, cabin crew and airport workers will be given until November 15 to have both doses of a vaccine.

Other employees will have until March 31 next year.


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Qantas CEO Alan Joyce it is part of the airline’s commitment to safety.

“Having a fully vaccinated workforce will safeguard our people against the virus but also protect our customers and the communities we fly to,” Mr Joyce said.

“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.”

A number of other airlines around the world have already made COVID vaccines mandatory for staff.

Qantas is not expecting too much push back with a recent staff survey finding 4 per cent were unwilling or unable to get the jab.

More than three-quarters of staff surveyed had already had one does with 60 per cent having both.

“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.”

With airlines copping the brunt of constant lockdowns and border closures, Mr Joyce says it’s clear vaccinations are our only path to freedom.