The Indian Banking Association (IBA) is expected to reach a decision next week regarding three key issues – the implementation of a five-day work week, a salary hike, and the requirement of group medical insurance policies for retirees. The initial meeting between bank unions and the banks’ association for these matters is scheduled for July 28, which falls on a Friday. If approved, bank employees may enjoy two days off each week.
In a notice dated July 19, the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) mentioned that they had raised the matter of introducing a five-day work week during previous discussions. The IBA responded by stating that the issue is actively being considered by all relevant stakeholders and is being pursued. The UFBU urged the IBA to expedite the process to implement a five-day banking week as soon as possible.
Presently, bank employees work on alternate Saturdays, with banks remaining open on the first and third Saturdays of every month. The demand for a five-day work week has been long-standing, gaining momentum after the government implemented the same in the LIC. The finance ministry has expressed no objection to the employees’ demand, and the Indian Banking Association has submitted a proposal to the government. The proposal includes an increase in the daily working time for bank employees by 40 minutes.
Regarding medical insurance policies for retirees, the UFBU has agreed to a uniform base policy of Rs 2 lakh, with certain limits on bed charges and package treatments to reduce premiums. Additionally, they plan to offer optional top-up schemes of up to Rs 10 lakh.
Furthermore, in August 2023, banks will be closed for a total of 14 days, including both Saturdays and Sundays. Some of these holidays will apply nationwide, while others will be specific to particular states or regions.
During bank branch closures, customers will still have access to mobile and internet banking services to conduct transactions online. ATM machines and banking kiosks will also be available for customer use.