Canada's Big 5 banks will mandate COVID-19 vaccines for staff

All five of Canada's big banks will soon make vaccines mandatory for all staff who wish to return to the office, and those who don't comply will have to agree to regular testing.

All the big banks to implement some form of mandatory vaccination policy

Canada's biggest banks will require employees who return to the office to be vaccinated or submit to regular testing. (CBC)

All five of Canada's big banks will soon make vaccines mandatory for all staff who wish to return to the office, and those who don't comply will have to agree to regular testing.

TD told its employees in an email Friday that all employees are being asked to register their vaccination status with the bank by the end of next month.

"Effective November 1, 2021, full vaccination of an approved COVID-19 vaccine will be a requirement for all TD colleagues entering the TD workplace," reads the email from chief human resources officer Kenn Lalonde obtained by CBC News.

The memo does not say what the punishment will be for non-compliance, but makes it clear that anyone who is unvaccinated will have a number of hoops they must go through.

"Starting November 1, 2021, there will be additional protocols for colleagues who are still not fully vaccinated, or have not disclosed their vaccination status, including the completion of a learning module about the benefits of vaccination, mandatory COVID-19 rapid testing, and the wearing of a face covering at all times," the memo reads.

WATCH | All kinds of employers grappling with vaccine mandates

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CIBC wrote a blog post to staff announcing a similar policy that will be in effect by the end of October.

"We have … strongly encouraged every member of our CIBC team to get vaccinated," said Sandy Sharman, the bank's group head of people, culture and brand. 

"It's the single best way to turn the corner on the pandemic, and an important way we can protect our family, friends and colleagues. That's why today, I wanted to share with you that we will be requiring employees to be vaccinated by October 31, 2021."

Bank of Montreal told all staff in an email from chief human resources officer Mona Malone that due to the rise of the delta variant, it will also be mandating vaccines for all in-person staff.

"Our new requirement is that all North American employees and contractors eligible for vaccination get their shots, with a target completion date of October 31," Malone said. "Those who remain unvaccinated will be required to complete twice-a-week COVID-19 testing and comply with alternative health and safety measures to enter a BMO location."

Scotiabank is making a similar move, although is not attaching a firm date to the policy. "We are moving in the direction of making vaccinations mandatory for all Canadian-based employees, and contractors, later in the fall," chief human resources officer Barb Mason told all staff in a memo obtained by CBC News.

The Royal Bank of Canada will also be mandating vaccinations, with CEO Dave McKay saying on a post on social media platform LinkedIn that "over the coming days and weeks, we will be [attempting to] confirm the vaccination status of all our employees. This effort will begin in Canada and the U.S., where those who are able to be fully vaccinated will be required to do so by October 31."

The moves by four of Canada's biggest banks come a week after the government in Ottawa asked federally regulated industries — which would include banks — to mandate vaccinations as COVID-19 cases caused by the delta variant of the coronavirus continue to mount.

Porter Airlines and financial conglomerate Sun Life made similar moves on Wednesday. Numerous municipal governments, universities and public services such as the Toronto Transit Commission have announced vaccine mandates in recent days.