Delta to impose monthly surcharge for unvaccinated employees.
Delta Air Lines will impose a $200 monthly surcharge on employees who are not vaccinated against Covid-19, in a tactic to push employees to get the shots.
The airline, which will become the first major US company to levy a penalty to encourage workers to get protected, will add the fee to the health-care plan from November 1.
“The average hospital stay for Covid-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person. This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company,” chief executive Ed Bastian wrote in a new memo sent to Delta employees.
Currently 75 per cent of Delta staff are vaccinated, up from 72% in mid-July.
“While we can be proud of our 75 per cent vaccination rate, the aggressiveness of the variant means we need to get many more of our people vaccinated, and as close to 100 per cent as possible,” Ed told employees.
“I know some of you may be taking a wait-and-see approach or waiting for full (Food and Drug Administration) approval. With this week’s announcement that the FDA has granted full approval for the Pfizer vaccine, the time for you to get vaccinated is now.”
Fuelled by the Delta variant of the virus, new reported cases of Covid-19 in the US have topped 150,000 a day, the highest level since January.
Although nationally the rate of increase has slowed, the Delta variant threatens to overwhelm emergency rooms in parts of the country.
From September 12th, any US employee who is not fully vaccinated will be required to take a Covid test each week.