Rex Airlines announces November 1 vaccine deadline for frontline staff

'Rex staff has overwhelmingly embraced this responsibility'

Rex Airlines announces November 1 vaccine deadline for frontline staff

Regional carrier Rex Airlines has announced a November 1 deadline for all its frontline staff to get the vaccinated, putting it ahead of other local airlines on vaccinating its public-facing workers against COVID-19.  Covered by the deadline are the company's employees at check-in, as well as pilots and cabin crew across its regional and domestic networks, the airline announced in a media release. They added that they arrived at the policy after prior consultations with staff and unions, as well as workplace health and safety representatives.

According to the company, 90% of their entire workplace will be vaccinated by the time November 1 rolls around. So far, 59% have already received both doses, while 31% got their first or have booked an appointment for one. Another eight percent said they are hesitant about getting the jabs, while two percent are against vaccinations due to medical or personal reasons.

John Sharp, Rex deputy chairman, congratulated the company's staff for their initiative in getting the jabs.

"As the survey shows, Rex staff has overwhelmingly embraced this responsibility and has done its part to keep the nation safe. On behalf of the Board, I congratulate them for their contribution to keeping everyone safer," he said in a statement.

Those who are not vaccinated will be moved to anon-customer-facing roles. Meanwhile, unvaccinated office staff will be required to wear a mask at work.

Read more: Should vaccine be mandatory for airline workers?

Sharp attributed the company's decision to require the jabs to the safety of their passengers and staff.

"We have a duty of care to both our passengers and staff to provide the safest possible environment," he said. "As we provide an essential service operating to regional centres and remote communities throughout Australia, it is incumbent upon us to do whatever we can to help those residents remain safe and healthy."

The airline's deadline puts it ahead of other companies, such as Qantas and Virgin Airlines which are on November 15. Brisbane-based Alliance Airlines also imposed its own mandatory vaccination policy.

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