Having had to cope with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic for over 2 years, many companies around the world are trying hard to bring workers back to their offices and resume operations as per ‘normal’.
However, vaccination status remains a stumbling block for some companies.
On Friday (7 Jan), Reuters reported that Citigroup will be placing its US staff who have not been vaccinated by 14 Jan on unpaid leave.
Unless these employees manage to get an exemption, the company will allegedly proceed to fire them at the end of the month.
Citigroup may apparently consider exemptions on religious or medical grounds, on a case-by-case basis.
According to Reuters, Citigroup workers in the US who remain unvaccinated by next Friday (14 Jan) will be placed on unpaid leave.
These workers will reportedly lose their jobs soon after unless they get an exemption.
The company will consider the following conditions before granting any exemptions:
The move comes at a time when financial institutions are tackling the issue of bringing workers safely back to office amidst a surge in Omicron cases.
Reuters reports that Citigroup is the first of the major US banks to implement such a strict mandate.
Other banks, on the contrary, have informed such employees to work from home. None have allegedly gone as far as dismissing them.
Explaining the move, Citigroup said it was merely complying with President Biden’s policy, which requires all workers “supporting government contracts” to be fully vaccinated.
The government is reportedly a “large and important” Citigroup client.
Thus far, over 90% of Citigroup employees have followed the mandate. However, this figure is “rising rapidly”, reports Reuters.
In Singapore, unvaccinated workers are will not be able to return to their workplaces from 15 Jan, even if they return a negative test 24 hours prior.
Though that’s a week away, there have been reports regarding the dismissal of workers due to their vaccination status.
Hearing about people losing their livelihoods is never pleasant, especially over a technicality like this.
But since we’re in the midst of a fluctuating pandemic, perhaps such harsh moves are necessary to protect public safety.
We hope those eligible for the vaccines will get their jabs soon, not only to safeguard their jobs but to also protect themselves and their loved ones.
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Featured image adapted from Mike Mozart on Flickr.
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