Morgan Stanley to bar unvaccinated staff from next month

Top US banks are stepping up pressure on employees to resume work in offices

Employees and visitors to Morgan Stanley's New York offices will be barred from entering from next month unless they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, the BBC reported on Wednesday, citing an internal memo.

"Starting July 12 all employees, contingent workforce, clients and visitors will be required to attest to being fully vaccinated to access Morgan Stanley buildings in New York City and Westchester,” the memo said.

Restrictions on face coverings and maintaining physical distancing inside office premises are expected to be removed following the implementation of the policy from July, according to the report.

Many of the US's biggest banks are ramping up the pressure on employees to return to the office as the pace of vaccinations picks up in the world’s biggest economy.

As of Wednesday, the US had administered 319 million doses, covering 49.7 per cent of the total population, according to Bloomberg's vaccine tracker.

Earlier this month, the investment bank’s chief executive called on workers to return to the office.

“If you can go into a restaurant in New York City, you can come into the office,” James Gorman said at a conference.

He said he would be "very disappointed" if US-based workers had not returned by September.

Other banks are also taking a tough position on extending home working, according to the report.

Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of America's biggest bank JP Morgan, recently said he wanted US staff back in the office from July, while a Goldman Sachs memo seen by the BBC strongly encouraged staff to get vaccinated.

"We understand that the choice to get vaccinated is a personal one,” Goldman Sachs said.

In December, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission gave the go-ahead for companies to bar unvaccinated staff from workplaces, subject to exceptions for religious and medical reasons.

Barclays is also encouraging staff to resume work at office. The bank’s chief executive Jes Staley said in February that working from home was "not sustainable".

"It will increasingly be a challenge to maintain the culture and collaboration that these large financial institutions seek to have and should have,” Mr Staley told an online event held by the World Economic Forum.

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