To continue reading please register or login to your OHW+ account.
Australian airline Qantas has insisted all staff must be vaccinated against Covid-19.
It has said that frontline workers including pilots, cabin crew and airport staff should be fully vaccinated by mid-November, while remaining employees have until the end of March 2022 to receive both vaccines.
“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," said Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce.
"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.”
Australia is being hit hard by the pandemic, with the state of New South Wales reporting its biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections this week. Its capital Canberra also recently announced a week-long lockdown after discovering just one case.
Qantas polled staff on their vaccination status, finding that 89% of its 22,000 staff had already been vaccinated or were planning to. Three-quarters of employees felt it should be mandatory.
It said that around 480 staff, or 4% of those who responded, were unwilling or unable to get the vaccine. Staff with documented medical reasons would be given an exemption, it added.
The company has already made around 8,500 employees redundant after the pandemic prevented international travel and meant dramatic reductions to flight schedules.
Qantas is not the first employer to insist on its staff being double-jabbed. CNN recently dismissed three employees who came into work