Australian investment bank Macquarie has told its staff in the US they can adopt a permanent flexible schedule, and asked unvaccinated employees to wear masks in the office, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The banking group has not set a minimum for the number of days its US employees have to be in the office, leaving that to individual teams and businesses, the people said. About 16% of Macquarie’s global workforce of about 16,500 are based in the Americas. 

The lender has stopped short of making vaccines mandatory, asking staff to follow the mask rules in the cities where its offices are, the people said. A representative for Macquarie in New York declined to comment.

Macquarie’s move to articulate a permanent hybrid work model for employees mirrors peers including Citigroup and HSBC, while executives at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have called for almost a full return, with some flexibility. The rules on mask-wearing for the unvaccinated comes after firms such as Barclays moved to keep those US employees at home.

Wall Street banks have been grappling for months about the safest way to bring staff back to offices, and the spread of the Delta variant is interrupting a return for many. 

Wells Fargo, which has more employees than any other US bank, last week delayed its return-to-office plans by two weeks to mid-October. Technology companies including Apple, Alphabet’s Google and Facebook have pushed back their return-to-office plans to January.

Bloomberg News. More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com


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