The State Bank of India (SBI) now takes a U-turn on its recently announced rules which said that if a woman candidate is pregnant for more than three months, the candidate will be considered “temporarily unfit”. Further it said that the candidate can join the bank four months after delivery. Following this announcement, the bank received enormous criticism from all sections of the society. Calling the bank discriminatory against women, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) also had issued a notice to SBI seeking withdrawal of its new rules and asking for a response.
Criticising the move the DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal had said that the rule appeared to be discriminatory and illegal. The chairperson also had taken to twitter saying that the move is contrary to the maternity benefits under the Code of Social Security, 2020. She added that the rules are discriminatory on the basis of sex, thus violating the fundamental rights provided by the constitution.
Meanwhile, the All India State Bank of India Employees Association (AISBIEA) termed the new rules “hostilely discriminatory and anti-woman,” which lack “medical logic and scientific rationale” in its letter to SBI, as reported by CNBC.
SBI Response Post Criticism
In the latest development, SBI has rolled back its recent announcement on pregnant women candidates recruitment, after it got a huge flack from all walks of live. In a statement the bank said, “In view of the public sentiments, SBI has decided to keep the revised instructions regarding recruitment of pregnant women candidates in abeyance. SBI to continue with the existing instructions in the matter.”
Suspending the new recruitment rules the bank added, “SBI recently reviewed the various fitness standards for recruitment in the bank, including norms for pregnant women candidates. Revised guidelines were intended to provide clarity on various health parameters where instructions were not clear or were very old. In some sections of the media, the revision in norms in this regard has been interpreted as discriminatory against women.” it said in a press release.