JPMorgan to reimburse staff forced into quarantine
Hong Kong-based employees of global investment bank JPMorgan can avail of a US$5,000 reimbursement from the company should they be required to go into quarantine after travelling overseas.
The one-time reimbursement will cover personal travel for employees, at the executive director level and below, who must comply with Hong Kong's zero-COVID policy, according to a company memo that was first reported by The South China Morning Post.
The move supports employees who are planning to reunite with immediate family overseas amid the ongoing global health crisis. The benefit, which can be claimed only once, will cover international trips starting 1 December this year until 30 November 2022.
Immediate family includes spouses or partners, children, parents and grandparents.
"We recognise that the costly quarantine measures in place in Hong Kong associated with COVID-19 have impacted many of you with respect to visiting family and loved ones overseas," Harshika Patel, JPMorgan's Hong Kong chief, said in the memo.
"As a firm, we would like to help and with this in mind we have introduced a new quarantine reimbursement programme in an effort to support employees wishing to travel overseas to see immediate family."
While Hong Kong has stepped up COVID control measures, it exempted JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon from the 21-day quarantine requirement when Dimon visited the city last week.
"This is a very huge bank with key business in Hong Kong," said the city's CEO Carrie Lam. "He needs to come to Hong Kong for work for about a day."
Members of the international business community in Hong Kong, however, are expressing concern over the strict quarantine measures. A survey by financial markets group ASIFMA found that nearly three in four international firms are facing difficulties attracting and retaining talent because of the COVID measures, Bloomberg reported.