Australia’s Rex makes vaccinations mandatory for front-line staff

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(PHOTO: Rex)

Australian regional carrier Rex said today (20 September) that all of the airline’s front-line, customer-facing staff would be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by 1 November 2021. This would include company employees working at check-in and all pilots and cabin crew across its regional and domestic networks. Passengers on Rex flights can be reassured that the compulsory staff vaccination policy will mean that they will be travelling in the safest possible circumstances. The move follows initial consultations with various unions, workplace health and safety representatives and staff. These consultations will continue as the new policy is formulated.

Prior to the consultations, Rex conducted a survey of all its staff, to which an unprecedented 90 percent responded. The results of the survey show that, even without the mandatory requirement for vaccination, about 90 percent of the entire workforce would have already voluntarily been vaccinated by the deadline of 1 November 2021. The full details of the survey are:

  • 59 percent already fully vaccinated; 
  • 31 percent had either received their first vaccination or had booked an appointment to be vaccinated; 
  • 8 percent not sure about vaccination; and 
  • 2 percent opposed to vaccination for medical or other reasons. 
John Sharp, Rex’s deputy chairman. (PHOTO: Rex)

“We have a duty of care to both our passengers and staff to provide the safest possible environment,” Rex Deputy Chairman John Sharp 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. 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. Rex has always been the leader in keeping its passengers safe and healthy. As early as April last year, we mandated the wearing of masks onboard. The other carriers did not have the courage to do so until the federal government had to step in six months later to make this a regulatory requirement. Similarly, today Rex will be leading the industry by having all its crew and frontline staff fully vaccinated by November.”

Sharp said Rex would offer the small number of unvaccinated frontline staff non customer-facing roles wherever available. Unvaccinated office staff will be required to wear a mask while at work.

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