Canada’s third-largest bank had planned to start a phased return-to-office plan for head-office employees who are still working remotely on Jan. 17, but that’s now on hold, spokesperson Clancy Zeifman said in an emailed statement.
“Based on the government of Ontario’s latest guidance, Scotiabank is pausing its plans to begin a phased and gradual return to office for employees working remotely, and will reassess timing in the new year,” Zeifman said. “We continue to make decisions based on guidance from our medical advisers, available data and in consultation with government partners.”
Ontario reported 1,536 new cases on Monday, up 73% in a week. Last week the province said it’s expanding COVID-19 booster-shot eligibility to individuals 18 and older in early January and is a vaccine mandate for many indoor businesses and activities, including restaurants.
Financial companies from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to Fidelity Investments have been pulling back on return-to-office plans in some regions in response to growing COVID-19 cases and worries about the spread of the omicron variant. Goldman told its London staff to work from home if they can, while Fidelity stopped non-essential workers from coming into some offices in the U.S. northeast.