Airlines are doing different strategies to convince their employees to get vaccinated. Delta Air Lines announced last month that unvaccinated Delta employees will have to pay an additional $200 per month for their health insurance plan. The $200 monthly surcharge will cover the financial risk that the airline is incurring for having unvaccinated employees. This penalty takes effect on November 1.
In just two weeks, the number of unvaccinated Delta employees significantly dropped. 20% of the 20,000 unvaccinated Delta employees opted to get vaccinated. According to Henry Ting, Delta Air Lines’ chief health officer, the figure is a “huge number in terms of shifting that group that’s most reluctant”. Ting also mentioned that the company hasn’t recorded any employee turnover or resignations brought by the surcharge news.
From 74% to 78% Employee Vaccination Rate In Two Weeks
Around the time when the airline announced the additional $200 fee, Delta had 74% of its employees vaccinated. In just two weeks, the vaccination rate climbed up to 78%.
Delta justified its decision to ask for a $200 monthly fee from unvaccinated employees by announcing the average cost of hospitalization. According to Delta Air Lines, the average cost of COVID-related hospitalization is at an average of $50,000 per person. Also, the airline announced that recent hospitalizations were employees who haven’t completed their vaccination yet.
Will There Be Less Unvaccinated Delta Employees Soon?
As of Sunday, Delta employees who haven’t completed their vaccination will have to take mandatory COVID19 tests weekly. Delta also announced in May that the carrier will only hire fully vaccinated individuals as the airline looks to expand its manpower.
By September 30, Delta will also get rid of the COVID19 pay protection for unvaccinated employees. It means that the airline will only cover cases of breakthrough infection. American Airlines is also doing something similar. American Airlines announced that pandemic leave will no longer be available to unvaccinated employees.