All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) has written to the chief secretary of Maharashtra, and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) to allow banks to function at 50% strength.
By Ankur Mishra
A steady rise in the number of bankers becoming infected with Covid-19 and nearly 25 deaths is worrying the banking community. All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) has written to the chief secretary of Maharashtra, and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) to allow banks to function at 50% strength.
The letter says: “The state level bankers’ committee (SLBC) Maharashtra has issued their compunction that banks should functional normally and with 100% of the staff. Requiring 100% of staff to attend is neither a physical possibility nor it is advisable given the SOP on social distancing requirements, etc.”
CH Venkatachalam, general secretary, AIBEA, said: “We have lost at least 25 bank employees and around 400 are infected by Covid-19 so far. We fear the numbers will increase further if employees continue to come in full strength.” AIBEA indicated to FE that SLBC (state level bankers’ committee) has asked public sector banks to ensure that their branches are fully manned. At the head offices, employees are allowed to work from home for some weeks of the month.
State Bank of India (SBI) has been rotating the staff at its corporate office in Mumbai, after four employees tested positive. An SBI spokesperson said: “Our quick response team headed by a general manager (GM) is continuously monitoring the situation in the entire country and the protocol is followed in case of any infection.” Many of the bank’s staff members, who were infected, have recovered, he further added.
Although local train services have resumed in a limited manner, in Mumbai, AIBEA is of the view that banks should provide transportation services in cities like Mumbai. PSBs are offering compensation of Rs 20 lakh-50 lakh to families of the deceased. BoB has put in place an insurance financial compensation cover of Rs 50 lakh and has also tied up with few hospital chains in select cities for home quarantine medical package for employees, the spokesperson said.