Morgan Stanley to bar unvaccinated staff from New York offices
Employees and visitors to Morgan Stanley will barred from entering the bank’s New York offices unless they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 from next month, as the Wall Street firm prepares to get staff back to their desks by early September.
The banking company warned staff and clients that they have less than three weeks to receive both coronavirus jabs before visiting its buildings in New York City and Westchester from 12 July – or keep working from home.
A memo from the Wall Street bank, reported by the BBC, says: “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.”
Morgan Stanley is not expected to ask staff and visitors to provide proof of their vaccination status, but the double-jab requirement may result in relaxing restrictions on social distancing and face coverings in its New York office spaces.
The new entry requirements were set out in a staff memo just over a week after the chief executive said he was issuing a “very strong” message to workers to get back to their desks by Labor Day on 6 September.
James Gorman told the bank’s New York employees – who make up 90% of the company’s total staff – that anyone who felt safe going to a restaurant should return to the office. Morgan Stanley employees in India and the UK would need to take a different approach owing to ongoing Covid restrictions, he added.
“Make no mistake about it: we do our work inside Morgan Stanley offices. And that’s where we teach, that’s where our interns learn, that’s how we develop people,” Gorman told a financial services conference.
Morgan Stanley’s push to return to pre-pandemic working patterns is the latest in a string of calls from the US’s largest bankers to return to the office. The chief executive of Goldman Sachs, David Solomon, has referred to remote working as an “aberration”, and JP Morgan’s boss, Jamie Dimon, said it was poor practice for new and younger staff, as well as employees who wanted “to hustle”.
Across Europe, banks are taking a more flexible approach to the return to work. NatWest Group expects just 13% of its 64,000 employees to work in the office full-time. Meanwhile, HSBC is planning for thousands of its staff to work remotely long-term.