(Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. is offering to reimburse Hong Kong employees up to $5,000 to compensate for their quarantine stay as the financial hub sticks to its zero-Covid policy.
All Hong Kong-based employees who are executive directors and below may claim the amount for a single quarantine stay for personal trips undertaken by employees visiting immediate family members, which includes spouses, domestic partners, children, parents and grandparents, according to an internal memo. A Hong Kong-based spokeswoman confirmed the content.
“We recognize 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,” JPMorgan’s Hong Kong chief Harshika Patel said in the memo. The program applies to employees under quarantine between Dec. 1, 2021 and Nov. 30, 2022, the memo said.
The move comes as JPMorgan’s Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon touched down in Hong Kong last week after receiving an exemption from the city’s stringent quarantine, where he highlighted that the restrictions were making it harder for the bank to retain talent. Dimon’s trip is aimed at thanking the bank’s 4,000 employees in Hong Kong for their dedication during the pandemic.
The South China Morning Post reported the plan first. A stay at Hong Kong’s designated quarantine hotel can cost between HK$500 to HK$3,630 per night for a non-suite room.
The finance industry has been ratcheting up pressure on Hong Kong to ease its quarantine rules and abandon its zero-Covid policy amid concern it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit and retain talent. A survey found almost half of major international banks and asset managers are contemplating moving staff or functions out of the city.
Officials in the financial hub are trying to keep Covid cases at zero with some of the world’s strictest quarantine measures, in part to open travel between the city and mainland China. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said in a Bloomberg News interview last month that even a single death would be a “major concern” and that opening to broader China would also benefit businesses in the city since most are in Hong Kong to access the mainland.
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