Jetstar Asia to require all workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19

SINGAPORE – Local budget carrier Jetstar Asia will require all employees to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by October 1.

The move takes reference from a Government advisory issued on July 2, which stated that employers may make vaccination a requirement for staff in higher-risk settings.

Jetstar Asia said on Wednesday (Aug 18) that it is the first airline in Singapore to require all employees to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

The other two carriers based in Singapore are Singapore Airlines (SIA) and its budget arm Scoot.

Jetstar Asia said almost 100 per cent of its employees have been vaccinated. Most workers also supported the idea of vaccination being a requirement for work, as it would protect the workers and their families, it added.

The carrier’s chief executive Bara Pasupathi said: “Having a fully vaccinated workforce at Jetstar will provide one of the strongest layers of protection against the serious health impacts of this virus, while also helping Singapore open up to international travel again.

“Given the potential for the virus to spread, having a fully vaccinated team helps to safeguard our customers, our people and the communities we fly to.”

In response to queries about what would happen to employees who are not vaccinated against Covid-19, a Jetstar Asia spokesman said it will look into whether there are alternative measures that could be implemented for employees who are medically ineligible to take the vaccine.

She added: “If employees have concerns about getting vaccinated for other medical reasons, they will be managed on a case-by-case basis, in line with the Ministry of Manpower’s guidelines.”

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) on July 2 said that employers should not make Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for staff, but those in higher-risk settings may make vaccination a requirement as part of company policy.

They may impose this vaccination requirement at the point of recruitment or advertisement for new hires into work settings where employees are considered to have a higher risk of Covid-19 infection. But they cannot fire existing staff on the grounds of declining vaccination.

Employers who wish to make vaccination compulsory in these higher-risk employment settings may adopt several measures for staff who decline vaccination, according to the advisory.

They may redeploy such workers to other suitable jobs with lower risk of Covid-19 infection. But terms and conditions for redeployment should be mutually agreed upon between bosses and staff if there are no existing redeployment policies within the organisation.

Australian carrier Qantas Group, which owns 49 per cent of Jetstar Asia, had announced earlier on Wednesday that its frontline employees, including cabin crew and pilots, would need to be fully vaccinated by Nov 15.

Its remaining employees will need to be vaccinated by March 31 next year.

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