Citi to sack unvaccinated staff at the end of the month

Citi to sack unvaccinated staff at the end of the month

Citigroup staff in the United States who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 by January 14 will be placed on unpaid leave and fired at the end of the month unless they are granted an exemption, according to a company memo seen by Reuters.

Many financial firms have pushed back their return-to-office plans and are encouraging staff to get vaccinated and boosted, but Citi is the first to mandate the jab as a requirement for employment.

More than 90% of Citigroup employees have complied with the mandate so far and that figure is rising rapidly, according to a source quoted by Reuters, adding that the timing of the vaccination mandate would be different for branch staff.

"You are welcome to apply for other roles at Citi in the future as long as you are compliant with Citi’s vaccination policy," the bank said in the memo. "If you are not vaccinated, we urge you to get vaccinated as soon as possible."

The move comes as the highly contagious Omnicrom variant rips up previous assumptions about a return to pre-pandemic working conditions.

Other major Wall Street banks, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase, have told some unvaccinated employees to work from home, but none has yet gone as far as sacking staff.

Comments: (10)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 10 January, 2022, 11:433 likes 3 likes

Oh dear – Citi are making themselves look fools here. The overwhelming evidence is that Covid vaccines only limit the severity of coming down with Covid and have no impact on transmission, so what is the rationale for forcing employees to take it? There is none – it is a personal choice.

Rather than diversity & inclusion, this is division & exclusion. LoL.


A Finextra member
A Finextra member 10 January, 2022, 15:481 like 1 like

I do not understand - if 90% complied, that means the majority of the employees believes vaccination for a safe workspace. 

The remaining 10% should be written off as churn....

Russell Bell
Russell Bell - Fastbase Ltd - Wellington 11 January, 2022, 03:532 likes 2 likes

The vaccinated Citi employees don't necessarily believe vaccination is needed for a safe workplace.  The pressure is simply too much for a great many people, and they don't want to fight, they don't want to face the consequences of not getting vaxed.

Many vaccinated people acknowledge that vaccination has no impact on transmission.  And many don't personally see un-vaccinated poeple as any kind of risk, judging by their willingness to socialise with un-vaxed individuals in contexts where there's no official prohibition from doing so.

If pressed to justify the coercion, some vaccinated people offer the explanation that the un-vaxed are more likely to fill hospital beds when they get sick with covid.  A belief that's disputed by the medical profession, reputable and sizeable chunks of it.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 11 January, 2022, 07:293 likes 3 likes That’s quite the non sense we are living in. Politics are in the middle of it and companies are best to stay clear. Very hypocritical to talk about D&I and then be so illogically divisive. If vaccinated people can equally carry and pass on the virus, this can only be a personal choice. Vaccinate self to protect self. Vaccinated people seem to fear the unvaccinated, which is illogical and does not place much faith in the vaccine they received. The vaccine pass in France has done nothing to slow anything down, it has only been a coercion method as recently admitted by Macron. I cannot wait for somebody to take them to the cleaners on the basis that they could perfectly work remotely through the pandemic, and they can test for the occasions they get to the office. (And I am vaccinated, but against division on this basis).
A Finextra member
A Finextra member 11 January, 2022, 09:00Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The vaccination at least makes you less severerly ill and thus not so likely to be an overload for the ICU:s at hospitals. Over 80% of all people admitted into hospitals due to covid19 are the unvaccinated.  Also it is likely that a vaccinated person spreads less virus than an unvaccinated - these facts come from my next door neighbour, an MD and resident in a major hospital. Citi is right to demand vaccination from their staff - key staff neccessary to the bank can become serverly ill and absent for months if they stay unvaccinated after having been infected at work!  Better to remove that opererational risk asap since Covid19 will not go away any day soon. 

Robin Setty
Robin Setty - ACI Worldwide (EMEA) Limited - Watford 11 January, 2022, 09:162 likes 2 likes

Pro vax and triple jabbed - but this is utterly divisive and just feeds into the conspiracy theorists' narratives.   Even if the policy might have made sense half a year ago, evidence suggests it doesn't today and Citi employees are hardly caring for the vulnerable.

Tanurag Nayyar
Tanurag Nayyar - Payments - London 11 January, 2022, 10:213 likes 3 likes

I support vaccination but this is utter nonsense. Companies run business, they hire people to deliver on objectives and pay them for working towards them. Period. As long as people deliver to goals, business have no right to infringe in personal choices of employees.... vaccinate or not, smoke or not, marry or not, etc. D&I just died.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 11 January, 2022, 10:35Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

@Tanurag Nayyar, uh, you're not allowed to smoke in the office.

I wouldn't be happy with an anti-vax person being in the office - it's not about me catching it, but the possibility of me then transmitting it on to vulnerable/at risk groups, such as children too young for the vaccination or family members who have respiratory issues. 

Perhaps Citi could move the anti-vaxxer to a role that doens't require in-office working?

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 11 January, 2022, 17:542 likes 2 likes You’ll find that people that do not want the vaccine for themselves (which we should not brand anti vaxers), accept the consequences of their choices. They want nothing else but to be kept in peace with it and certainly not have the company or colleagues deciding what’s right and wrong for them. Since anybody can contaminate you (vaxed or not) their choice does not affect you more or less. Best to leave it therefore as their decision and not meddle with it.
A Finextra member
A Finextra member 11 January, 2022, 19:331 like 1 like

I would imagine Citi has done a tremendous amount of research on this issue and how it impacts their ability to perform. The reality is that disability rates, death rates, healthcare expenses, days off the job are all higher for people who are not vaccinated. When companies consider bottom line issues as well as what will make the most sense for the health, safety, and security for the workplace, a vaccination requirement makes sense. The alternative is to increase the amount of healthcare premium contributions for those unvaccinated, figure out how to allow unvaccinated folks to work from home, and other work arounds. I would also suspect that companies have to be concerned about their liability exposure.