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RBC, TD to require employees working in its offices to be fully vaccinated

TD CEO calls move 'the right thing to do,' is encouraged other companies are taking similar steps


(Weyo/Adobe Stock)

Two of Canada’s largest banks will require employees working in their offices to be fully vaccinated.

Royal Bank of Canada and TD Bank Group both unveiled their policies this week, days after Ottawa asked federally regulated industries to implement mandates requiring staff to get vaccinated.

TD’s policy will ask staff to register their vaccination status with the bank by Sept. 30 and require full vaccination for all workers entering offices on or after Nov. 1.

Those who are not fully vaccinated or do not disclose their vaccination status must complete a learning module about the benefits of vaccination, submit to mandatory COVID-19 rapid testing and wear a mask whenever they are in TD offices.

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“This is the right thing to do to protect the health and safety of everyone who is working in TD locations, and we are encouraged that many other organizations have taken similar measures,” Kenn Lalonde, TD’s senior executive vice-president and chief human resources officer, said in a Friday memo announcing the policy.

RBC sent a similar memo Thursday, asking employees to confirm their vaccination status, beginning in Canada and the United States, followed by other regions where applicable.

Those working for the bank who are able to be vaccinated will be required to do so by Oct. 31, RBC said in the note to staff.

RBC  says nothing more important than health, well-being

RBC chief executive Dave McKay said in a LinkedIn post Friday that nothing is more important than the health and well-being of RBC’s clients, colleagues and communities.

“We believe vaccines are the best way to keep our workplaces safe and help our communities reduce the spread of COVID-19 variants such as Delta,” McKay said.

The policies come as the number of COVID-19 cases in Canada are climbing again and as vaccinations have slowed from their pace earlier this year.

In an effort to keep their staff safe and quell the spread of the virus, many companies and governments have been turning to vaccination policies.

Before the election was called, the government said last week it would require federal employees, workers in federally regulated industries like transportation and banking, as well as many domestic travellers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Other employers mandating vaccines

Sun Life Financial Inc., Shopify Inc., the City of Toronto, the Toronto Transit Commission and several universities and health care facilities have also requested staff be vaccinated in recent days.

A poll released Thursday showed a majority of Canadians support a system that would require proof of vaccination to access some non-essential services.

Seventy-six per cent of respondents in the survey conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies said they would strongly or somewhat support a vaccine passport like the one Quebec is implementing.

Quebec’s passport will apply in places like bars, concerts and festivals where there are lots of people in a confined space.