MELBOURNE, AAP – Virgin Australia wants all frontline workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid-November, joining Qantas in a push for mandatory inoculation.
Virgin has announced consultation will begin shortly with employees and unions about a proposal requiring all frontline workers to get vaccinated by November 15 and all office-based staff by March 31, 2022.
Those with medical issues “that can be substantiated” will be managed on a case-by-case basis, Virgin said in a statement.
Virgin Australia chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka said the vaccination policy was “vital” in keeping its workforce safe.
“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 organisation,” she said.
“We will now commence discussing the proposed vaccination requirement in detail with our team through our internal safety committees, unions and other appropriate forums.
“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.”
The airline said a final policy will be announced next month, after all feedback is considered.
Virgin will also begin an internal education campaign about the vaccines with qualified experts and said it will help workers to secure appointments and provide flexible working arrangements to allow staff to get vaccinated.
It comes less than two weeks after Qantas announced pilots, cabin crew and airport employees will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid-November.