Virgin Australia proposes employee vaccine mandate

If approved, the airline would follow the country’s flag carrier, Qantas in mandating staff vaccination   

Virgin Australia has announced that it is beginning consultation with unions and employees to require COVID-19 vaccination for all staff, with a decision on the policy due next month. 

The airline believes that a companywide policy is the best way to protect the health and safety of its workforce and the wider Australian community, as well as restoring consumer confidence in air travel.  

Virgin Australia
Photo Virgin Australia 

Under the proposals, all frontline staff members must be jabbed by November 15, while the office-based team will have until March 31, 2022. 

The carrier will also launch its “VA-X and WIN” competition to incentivise both staff and customers to take up a vaccination by offering the chance to win hundreds of prizes, including one million Velocity Frequent Flyer points.      

Jayne Hrdlicka, Virgin Australia CEO, said: “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. 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. 

In a recent survey the airline found that more than 75% of its frontline workforce and 56% of its office-based staff had received at least one dose of a vaccine, with another 9% and 27% respectively registered for vaccination.