Virgin Australia, like Qantas, wants all frontline workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid-November.
The airline announced on Monday that consultations with employees and unions will begin soon about a proposal requiring all frontline workers to be vaccinated by November 15 and all office-based staff to be vaccinated by March 31, 2022.
Those with medical issues “that can be substantiated” will be handled on a case-by-case basis, according to a statement from Virgin.
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.”
After considering all feedback, the airline stated that a final policy will be announced next month.
Virgin will also launch an internal vaccine education campaign with qualified experts, and has stated that it will assist employees in securing appointments and providing flexible working arrangements to allow them to get vaccinated.
It comes less than two weeks after Qantas announced that all pilots, cabin crew, and airport employees must be fully immunised against COVID-19 by mid-November.
Qantas announced last month that it would require all frontline employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Pilots, cabin crew, and airport workers on Qantas and Jetstar will have until November 15 to be fully jabbed.
Other employees have until March 31, 2022, to be fully vaccinated.
Approximately 20,000 employees will be affected by the relocation.
At the time, CEO Alan Joyce stated that having a fully vaccinated workforce would aid in the prevention of the virus’s spread.
“One crew member can fly into multiple cities and come into contact with thousands of people in a single day,” Mr Joyce said.
“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,” he added.
Exemptions will be granted to people who have documented medical evidence that they cannot be vaccinated. However, this is expected to be rare.
By Joe Cusmano