JPMorgan Chase, America’s biggest bank, has urged its US staff to get vaccinated ahead of a planned return to the office next month, and left the door open to making the jab mandatory.
The comments, in a memo to staff on Wednesday, are the latest effort by a Wall Street bank to accomplish the complicated task of getting staff back to the office safely after more than a year of remote work during the pandemic.
Banks such as JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are among the most vocal proponents of a return to the office but are meeting resistance from some staff who are hesitant about the Covid-19 vaccine or reluctant to disclose their vaccination status.
“We strongly urge all of our employees to be vaccinated because we think it protects you, your friends and family, your fellow employees, and the community at large,” JPMorgan’s operating committee, which is led by chair and chief executive Jamie Dimon, said in the memo, a copy of which was seen by the Financial Times and first reported by CNBC.
“In the future, we may mandate that all employees receive a Covid-19 vaccination consistent with legal requirements and medical or religious accommodations,” the memo read.
JPMorgan told staff that all US employees will move to a regular in-office schedule from July 6. The company employs 250,000 people worldwide.
“In many cases this may be five days each and every week, and for others it will mean a minimum of 50 per cent of your workdays will be in the office, due to occupancy limits,” management said in the memo.
“We are aware that some teams are piloting a hybrid approach that varies by job, such as three days in the office or 50 per cent rotations, but we want each of you back regularly so that we can test the effectiveness of these models as quickly as possible.”
The bank said it was now asking employees to disclose whether or not they have been vaccinated, while allowing employees to decline to share the information.
Vaccinated staff no longer need to wear masks or socially distance in the office, in line with a similar move by Goldman Sachs earlier this month. Goldman, however, has made it compulsory for staff to disclose their vaccination status.
JPMorgan encouraged bankers who choose not to share their vaccination status to be tested weekly for coronavirus.
The comments from JPMorgan come after Morgan Stanley adopted a policy that employees and clients who have not received their Covid vaccine will be barred from entering the bank’s New York offices.