Update: Blackstone now too:
- *BLACKROCK DELAYS OFFICE RETURN TO OCTOBER AMID VARIANT CONCERNS
Expect every other bank and financial institution to follow suit as nobody will want to be viewed as putting their employees at risk
* * *
While the Biden administration remains too scared to impose a new round of restrictions and/or lockdowns over the Covid Delta (and upcoming Lambda) variant - despite Joe Biden saying last Friday that there will be new restrictions "in all probability" - and has instead punted to the private sector to commence creeping shutdowns, this morning Wells Fargo became the latest company to comply when it pushed its return-to-office plans back a month to early October, citing rising Covid-19 rates across the US (luckily it did not cite hospitalizations or deaths which still remain subdued).
Bloomberg reports that the firm, which has the largest workforce of any U.S. bank at almost 260,000 employees, will now begin bringing back staffers who have been working remotely starting Oct. 4 rather than Sept. 7, as previously announced, according to an internal memo Thursday from Chief Operating Officer Scott Powell.
“The delta variant does not change the basic facts: vaccinated people are at lower risk of becoming infected with Covid-19, and much lower risk of becoming seriously ill and requiring hospitalization if they do become infected,” Powell wrote in the memo. The bank is offering eight hours paid time off for employees to get vaccinated. “Please take advantage of the extra time off that Wells Fargo offers for you to get vaccinated.”
The firm has also returned to requiring all employees currently working in offices to wear masks, regardless of their vaccination status, according to a company spokesperson.
The delay comes as companies grapple with adjusting their return-to-office plans as a result of the panic spread by the mainstream media over climbing coronavirus cases. The biggest banks have so far stopped short of requiring their employees to be vaccinated, in contrast with technology giants such as Google and Facebook and the state of California and New York City, which have said government employees will need the shots or weekly tests.