- Bank of Montreal (BMO) is offering employees three hours of paid time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it's available to them, CEO Darryl White told employees in a memo Monday, according to Bloomberg.
- The bank will also pay for some costs tied to getting the shots, such as administration fees not covered through public health plans or government agencies, White said in the memo.
- The Canadian bank, which has approximately 12,500 U.S.-based employees, is the second financial institution over the past several days to offer to pitch in on the vaccine effort.
"Regaining a tomorrow that does not look like today requires widespread vaccination," White said in the memo, adding BMO's leadership team will advocate for getting vaccinated "as the best way to save lives and reopen the economy."
The bank, however, won't require its employees to get vaccinated, according to the memo.
"I strongly encourage you to receive it if you're able," White said, but he noted "some of our colleagues belong to groups with unique risk profiles around vaccines and may be unable to receive them."
BMO's move to cover some costs associated with the vaccination of employees follows an offer American Express CEO Stephen Squeri reportedly made to New York City officials — specifically, that the payments company would be willing to help distribute vaccines to its employees — even though city officials have not requested that help, Squeri said.
"At the beginning, I think there was some challenges with distribution and as they started to work distribution out, we now have challenges with supply," Squeri told Bloomberg on Thursday. "Logistics is always tough."
Because the vaccine rollout has been slower than expected, American Express is extending — through Labor Day 2021 — the period through which it's letting its employees work remotely, the company said in a memo last week, according to Bloomberg.
The September holiday marks the latest date yet reported for a company that intends to return its employees to an office. Deutsche Bank last September told its New York-area workers they could stay remote until July 2021, when the German bank intends to open its new U.S. headquarters in Columbus Circle. Other financial institutions, such as card issuer Synchrony, have allowed permanent remote work.
"My top priority is that everyone feels cared for and doesn't feel pressured to come into the office," Squeri said in AmEx's memo. "We are taking a thoughtful approach and developing a plan."
AmEx had previously offered optional remote work through June 30, 2021.