After receiving much flak for its new hiring guidelines that called pregnant women ‘medically unfit’ for recruitment, Indian Bank has now received a notice from the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).
The public-sector bank has been ordered by DCW to withdraw the rule, which has been labelled as misogynistic.
Earlier this year, State Bank of India (SBI) had also introduced new rules according to which women candidates who are three months or over three months pregnant would be considered ‘temporarily unfit’ to join and that they would be allowed to join only within four months post delivery. At that time too, DCW had ordered SBI to withdraw the rule.
According to the DCW, if the Bank’s rule — which considers a three-month (or more) pregnant woman candidate temporarily unfit for a job — had been implemented, then pregnant women would have lost out on good employment opportunities. Also, when such women do take up these jobs later, they would have lost out on precious time and would have to compromise on their seniority.
It has also been pointed out that such a rule goes against the maternity benefits provided for under the Code of Social Security 2020, and is therefore, illegal and discriminatory.
The Commission has also requested the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to ensure that banks do not come up with such rules.