Westjet joins the ranks of airline carriers making vaccination mandatory for employees.
Since September 1, 2020, WestJet was one of the first air carriers to implement a zero-tolerance policy in support of the requirement for all guests, over the age of two, to wear masks, face coverings and respect COVID-19 health orders. Non-compliant guests will face penalties including denied boarding, return of the aircraft to the gate to offload the passenger and the suspension of travel on any WestJet Group aircraft for up to one year.
On Wednesday evening, Westjet announced that effective October 30, 2021, all WestJet Group employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, full vaccination status will be a requirement of employment for all future employees hired by the WestJet Group.
“Protecting the health and safety of our guests and employees remains our number one priority and vaccinations are our best line of defense,” said Mark Porter, WestJet Executive Vice-President of People. “Aviation has been one of the hardest-hit industries and we believe requiring all WestJet Group employees to be vaccinated is the right thing to do and ensures the safest travel and work environment for everyone in WestJet’s world.”
The company promises to evaluate and accommodate those employees who are unable to be vaccinated against COVID-19 either through medical or other exemptions. Employees who fail to attest their vaccination status by September 24 or achieve full vaccination status by October 30, 2021, will face unpaid leave or termination of employment. As part of its vaccine mandate, the airline will not provide testing as an alternative to vaccination. Continued Porter, “The WestJet Group remains committed to building back even stronger to ensure a competitive aviation industry in Canada. Requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is essential to the safe restart of travel across Canada.” Said Westjet
Westjet joins the ranks of organizations making it mandatory for employees to be vaccinated. As COVID-19 waves continue to impact Canadians, it is more apparent that vaccination is the only way to reduce the spread of the virus.