By: Ken Chase.
Two of the largest U.S. banks have formally ended their Covid-19 vaccine requirements for employees in the last week, in a nod to the most recent pandemic guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to some observers, the move is just the latest step in a broader effort to entice bank employees to return to the office.
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon has been a consistent proponent of ending remote work and returning employees to their offices. The new policy ends all Covid-19 requirements, including masks and testing, for the bank’s offices in the Western hemisphere, with the exception of New York City and Lima. That policy went into effect on September 6.
Workers at the bank’s New York City offices will still need to be vaccinated to meet the city’s local mandates or obtain a religious or health exemption to enter Goldman buildings.
Goldman’s move comes on the heels of Morgan Stanley’s September 5 policy that saw that bank end Covid testing requirements and employee notifications of Covid exposure. Morgan Stanley has asked employees who contract Covid-19 to self-isolate for the CDC-recommended 5 days and then wear masks for an additional 5 days afterwards while they are in the offices.
According to a spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs, getting people back into the offices is crucial for maintaining the bank’s business culture and properly servicing its customer base. She suggested that Goldman is making headway in its efforts, noting that “We continue to make steady progress bringing our people together in the office, which is core to Goldman Sachs apprenticeship culture and client-centric business.”