The Royal Bank of Canada will require all their staff in Canada and the United States to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of October, according to an internal memo to employees.
The move makes RBC the first of Canada’s major banks and the largest financial institution in the country to introduce a vaccine mandate. The bank, which operates in over 30 other countries around the world, says the mandate may be introduced in places beyond Canada and the U.S. in the near future.
“Based on concerning developments related to the Delta variant and evolving government guidance, in regions where permissible, we will be requiring RBC employees to be fully vaccinated to work on our premises,” reads the memo from RBC’s chief human resources offer Helena Gottschling.
RBC provided the memo to Global News after the Globe and Mail first reported on its contents Thursday. A spokesperson did not comment further, other than to confirm the memo was sent to employees Thursday evening.
Staff will be asked to confirm their vaccination status by Oct. 31 in order to return to RBC offices and branches. Those who are not yet vaccinated and are “able” to do so will be required to get their shots by the same date, according to the memo.
The move comes less than a week after the federal government announced a vaccine mandate for federal workers and domestic air and rail travellers by this fall. The announcement also called on federally-regulated industries — including banks — to follow suit, though Ottawa will not force those industries to comply.
An Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News released Thursday found a strong majority of Canadians — at least 80 per cent — supported mandatory vaccinations for employees in certain industries, including healthcare workers and teachers.
More to come…
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