The CEO of UBS says staff who don't want to get vaccinated against COVID-19 can work from home instead

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The CEO of UBS says staff who don't want to get vaccinated against COVID-19 can work from home instead
Ralph Hamers said that staff who don't get vaccinated can work remotely most of the time. Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters
  • UBS staff who refuse the vaccine can apply to work from home, CEO Ralph Hamers said, per Bloomberg.
  • Hamers said roughly two thirds of UBS jobs can be done remotely.
  • Support is growing for vaccine mandates amid the spread of the Delta variant.

UBS Group CEO Ralph Hamers said employees who don't want to get vaccinated against the coronavirus can apply to work from home, according to Bloomberg.

"We have 25,000 employees alone in the US and thousands more in Singapore and Hong Kong, and every country has a different legal framework around what you can and can't make mandatory" regarding vaccines, Hamers said at the Swiss Economic Forum Thursday, Bloomberg reported. The Swiss company has around 73,000 staff worldwide.

"The pandemic has delivered solutions to manage the risk of carrying the virus and passing it to your colleagues, and that is to work from home," he continued.

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Hamers said that staff who don't get vaccinated can work remotely most of the time.

"We have already identified two-thirds of our jobs can continue to work from home and therefore we are developing a model of hybrid working," he said, per Bloomberg. "There will be days where we want to come in and work in your teams physically."

Whether staff can work remotely depends on their role, too. Some staff, like traders in its investment bank, have jobs where it's "really difficult to work from home," Hamers said in July.

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In an article for Time Magazine, Hamers wrote that many employees had said in internal surveys that they were "just as, if not more, productive while working from home."

He added that UBS thought that a hybrid approach would let staff have a better work-life balance and would encourage innovation through its emphasis on technology and virtual collaboration, but that in-person interactions, would "remain an important component of our relationships, both internally and with our clients."

"Hybrid working is the best of both worlds," Hamers concluded in the article.

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More and more companies are mulling vaccine mandates as workers return to the office amid the spread of the Delta variant. Just over 52% of companies plan to have one or more vaccine mandate requirements, according to a survey by Willis Towers Watson. These include Apple, Goldman Sachs, and Uber.

But some people adamantly oppose vaccine mandates - and have even said they'll quit their jobs if they're forced to get the jab. Just over a quarter of adults in the US are yet to get their first dose of the vaccine, according to CDC data.

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