Qantas Group has published the final version of its COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. Read this bulletin to find out more about the policy and what you need to do.
If you can get vaccinated against COVID-19, you should get vaccinated. Vaccines are safe and effective. They are the best way for you to protect yourself, your family and your colleagues against COVID-19. High vaccination rates are the quickest way to get borders open and airline workers back to work.
You can book your vaccination through the Australian Government Department of Health Vaccine Eligibility Checker (GP appointments also available) online here, or at a State Vaccination Hub online here or by calling 1800 675 398.
How do I comply with the policy?
Employees must provide the company with evidence that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 by 15 November 2021 for Category A employees (Red ASIC-holders, frontline and operational staff) or 31 March 2022 for Category B employees (all other employees).
Qantas Group will allow employees to attend vaccine appointments during rostered or working time. If you are asked by the company to arrange your vaccination appointment outside of working time, you will be credited with 8 hours of annual leave.
If you can’t make a booking by the deadline date for your work group, you will need to contact the Qantas Group COVID-Support Team. They will help you find a vaccine appointment. If you can’t get a vaccination by the deadline, you may need to apply for an exemption.
Can I get an exemption?
Qantas Group is willing to consider exemptions to the policy on a temporary or ongoing basis. You can apply for an exemption for the following reasons:
- you may be unable to comply with the requirement to be fully vaccinated on an ongoing or temporary basis due to a medical contraindication or other medical condition;
- you have a demonstrated religious requirement; or
- you may be temporarily unable to comply with the requirement to be fully vaccinated by the Compliance Dates due to not having access to an Approved COVID-19 Vaccine.
You will need to make an application supported by evidence (like a doctor’s certificate). It’s likely you will need to comply with additional safety measures (like masking or regular testing) if you are given an exemption.
Category A employees must make an application by 4 October 2021 and Category B employees must make an application by 17 February 2022.
The company has provided detailed Q&As that explain the steps you need to take to comply with the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy and apply for exemptions. If you haven’t seen a copy of the policy, contact your organiser.
What happens if I do not comply with the policy?
The ASU believes that decisions about who needs a vaccine to do their job should be made by public health experts and not individual employers. However, that doesn’t make it illegal for some employers to require their employees to be vaccinated – this is a complex area of law, and depends on many factors, including the kind of work you do, your risk of being exposed to COVID-19, the people you come in to contact with, and what alternatives are available.
The Qantas Group has directed employees to comply with the policy. The Qantas Group says it consider this to be a lawful and reasonable direction. If you don’t comply you could be subject to disciplinary action, which may mean your employment is terminated.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has released further information on COVID-19 vaccination workplace rights and obligations online here.
The ASU will provide members advice that is appropriate to their circumstances.
Do you have any vaccine questions?
If you have any questions about COVID-19 vaccines please speak with your GP, or visit the Australian Department of Health COVID-19 vaccines website.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning on becoming pregnant and have any questions about the vaccines please speak with your GP or read the latest advice from the Australian Department of Health or The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG).