Royal Bank of Canada to let most staff work from home into 2021: memo

FILE PHOTO: The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) logo is seen outside of a branch in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

TORONTO (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO will allow most employees to keep working from home into 2021, although a "very small number" of staff in the greater Toronto area may return to workplaces in mid- to late- September, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters on Thursday.

“Plans may vary across businesses and functions depending on the nature of the work,” Helena Gottschling, chief human resources officer at Canada’s biggest lender, said in the memo. “We’ll be flexible wherever possible and our focus on employee health, safety and well-being remains consistent.”

The bank will provide at least four weeks notice to employees returning to workplaces, Gottschling said.

RBC joins Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO and Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO in extending work-from-home plans for the majority of staff.

Ontario’s provincial government said Toronto would move into the third stage of economic reopening on Friday, allowing most businesses in Canada’s most populous city to resume operations after more than four months of lockdown.

Reporting By Nichola Saminather; Editing by David Gregorio