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Finance

Jefferies backtracks on staff jab plan after memo demanded ‘verification of vaccination’

US investment bank Jefferies has backtracked on a policy that would have required all of its staff to receive a Covid-19 vaccine before coming back to its offices.

The independent investment bank, which has the vast majority of its London staff working from home, sent a memo at the beginning of February to its employees saying they that “verification of vaccination will be required to access the office”.

READ Can companies force staff to get vaccinated? They’re in ‘uncharted territory’

However, the bank has since dropped the plans, City AM reported, with a second message sent to staff on 25 February saying “we did not intend to make it sound as if we are mandating vaccines”, the newspaper reported.

Most large investment banks have yet to implement firmwide policies on Covid-19 vaccinations, with City employers instead insisting they are merely following government guidelines on working remotely. Offices remain open to only essential employees amid a nationwide lockdown that will keep remote working guidelines in place until at least June.

READ Small banks adopt an everyone home approach under latest UK lockdown

Peg Broadbent, the former chief financial officer at Jefferies, died in March at the age of 56 after contracting Covid-19. This has informed the bank’s policy around its employees, with the bank telling employees that their safety is its “number one” priority.

In January, chief executive Richard Handler and chair Brian Friedman, said that the bank would move to a “hybrid model” for staff “balanced with the opportunity to work from home”.

“This will have implications for the size and layout of our offices, technology decisions, ability for people to live in a greater radius of their primary Jefferies location, and the elimination of the misguided notion that people raising families or caring for ailing loved ones can’t be completely effective when they spend time at home,” they added.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Paul Clarke

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