Canadian banks end extra pandemic pay as infections ease


By Rod Nickel

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – Most of Canada’s biggest banks are ending their extra payments to employees who continued working in public during COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, as the country’s daily infection tallies decline.

The banks’ moves follow grocery chains Metro Inc (TO:), Loblaw Companies (TO:) and Sobeys Inc in ending the additional work incentives, which were put in place when many other Canadian workers began working from home to limit their risk.

The rollback of extra temporary pay for grocery store employees prompted a Canadian parliamentary committee on Thursday to summon major retailers to explain their decisions. The chair of that committee, Liberal legislator Sherry Romanado, could not be reached on Saturday.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (TO:) ( CIBC ) will end its pay incentive, C$ 50 per day for workers required to work on site, on June 27, spokesman Tom Wallis said.

“As the economy and many businesses begin to re-open, we are also shifting to the next phase of how we operate,” he said.

CIBC will continue to offer employees up to 10 additional paid days off to deal with COVID-19-related matters, Wallis said.

The number of total COVID-19 infections in Canada surpassed 100,000 this week. Daily cases tallies have declined in many provinces, even as they reopen parts of their economies.

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TO:)’s incentive program, which pays workers at bank locations C$ 500 and an extra day off for each of April and May, is due to expire at the end of June, said spokeswoman Julie Bellissimo.

Royal Bank of Canada (TO:) will also end its special compensation program on June 30, said spokeswoman Elizabeth Lewis.

National Bank of Canada (TO:) ended its additional pay program earlier this month, spokeswoman Marie-Pierre Jodoin said.

Bank of Montreal (TO:) and Bank of Nova Scotia (TO:) could not be reached.

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