The state government of Gujarat has permitted banks to operate with half the staff till April 30. The business hours have also been reduced to four, to reduce the risk of staff getting infected.
The State Level Banking Committee (SLBC) has been requesting the state government to adopt control measures since more than 30 bank employees have lost their lives to COVID in the last one month. In addition, the Maha Gujarat Bank Employees Association (MGBEA), a union of bank employees, wrote to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, drawing attention to the fact that almost 15,000 bank employees have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state so far. The Union also requested the state government to reduce cash transaction hours, offer extra holidays to staff and decrease working hours, as bank employees across the state were afraid of entering the workplace.
Following SLBC’s request and MGBEA’s plea, the finance department of the state government allowed banks to either follow the work-from-home mode or call staff every alternate day, so that only 50 per cent of the workforce are physically present in the bank on any given day.
Business hours have been restricted to four, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. During this time, only essential services will be provided, including withdrawal and deposit of cash, with preference being given to senior citizens.