Coronavirus: Are call centre employees from Canada’s banks allowed to work from home?

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Only one of Canada’s six big banks says it is developing plans to allow some customer services employees to work from home instead of in crowded call centres —  the type of enclosed spaces with over 50 people that public health officials have urged Canadians to avoid in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Global News reached out to the six major Canadian banks — TD, the Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank, CIBC and National Bank of Canada — to find out what they were doing to protect the health of thousands of call centre employees who are responding to inquiries from their customers.

All six said they have been providing essential services and dealing with high call volumes ever since the COVID-19 pandemic triggered tens of thousands of layoffs and a shutdown of multiple businesses and offices across the country.

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The crisis has also prompted a flood of transactions as well as requests for emergency loans and other financial advice, the banks told Global News.

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But none of the six big banks provided detailed explanations why their call centre employees — who don’t need to meet with clients face to face — are being asked to work from offices with dozens of colleagues at a time when the federal,

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