The WestJet Group says that effective Oct. 30, 2021, all 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 defence,” said Mark Porter, WestJet Executive Vice-president of People, in a statement on Wednesday (Sept. 8). “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 update aligns with similar announcements recently made by Air Canada, Sunwing and Porter Airlines.
The WestJet Group says it will evaluate and accommodate employees who are unable to be vaccinated against COVID-19 either through medical or other exemption.
Employees who fail to attest their vaccination status by Sept. 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," the company said.
“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," Mr. Porter said.