State Bank of India’s circular: Even though hundreds of bank employees worked overtime during the demonetisation period, several workers of SBI’s previous associate banks may not get to retain their compensatory wages. SBI’s former associate banks’ staff may have to return the “overtime compensation” paid for those extra hours, as the state-run bank said the parent SBI is not liable to pay up the overtime money.
According to an Indian Express report, the State Bank of India, in a latest internal circular to its zonal offices, said it is not liable to pay overtime compensation for the extra hours worked during the demonetisation days to the former employees of associate banks. The bank also said the instruction issued earlier this year for payment of compensation was only for employees of parent SBI and not for employees of five associate banks.
Bank employees had to put in several extra working hours for nearly two months during demonetisation in 2016 to accept demonetised notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 from customers across the country. During that period, SBI got the maximum amount as deposits. However, in a latest internal circular to its zonal offices, SBI has said the associate banks should have settled the compensation before the merger of the associate banks on April 1, 2017.
According to the SBI circular: “The claim related to the period prior to the merger of e-Abs (erstwhile associate banks) should have been dealt by e-Abs at the material time and we have no record of any commitment to pay the same,” the SBI circular said. SBI officials were not available for comments when contacted by the Indian Express.
“The contention of the SBI is that associate banks should have paid compensation and settled all claims before the merger in April 2017. This did not happen. SBI has now asked the employees who have claimed overtime to return it,” said an official. The official said the employees of the associate banks claimed the overtime compensation mostly in the Mumbai region.
The State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Travancore and State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur merged with the SBI in April last year, while demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes took place on November 8, 2016. The five associate banks of SBI had over 70,000 employees across the country which were absorbed in the branches of parent SBI. Many of the bank employees also took voluntary retirement.