Treat bank staff as ‘corona warriors’: Voice of Banking to Govt

The letter, penned by the bank employees’ welfare organisation, has highlighted how bank staff have risked their lives by working out of physical branches every day.

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Voice of Banking, an organisation working for the welfare of bank employees, has urged the Government to treat bank employees on par with health workers, as COVID warriors.

A letter penned by the organisation’s secretary, to the Finance Minister,  says that the Rs. 50 lakh health cover to which health workers are entitled, should be offered to bank employees as well.

As the pandemic continues to spread, making India the third worst-hit country in the world, the number of bank employees testing positive for the virus is also increasing by the day. To ensure their safety, the organisation has urged the work at physical branches to be limited to essential services only.

In the period since the virus disrupted normal lives, over 40 bank workers have lost their lives to COVID. It has been requested that their families be financially compensated accordingly, and the dependents in each case be provided with a job.

Further, the letter has highlighted how, despite most banks regulating travel for special employees — who are more vulnerable to the virus — and allowing them special with pay, there are many local branch-management officials who are still forcing few of these employees to travel to work.

Taking up the issue of transfers of officials, Voice of Baking has asked for the transfer orders — which have been already approved — to be held in abeyance till next year and the concerned employees be posted locally. This will enable the banks to save on crores of rupees on travel, transfer allowance and other related expenses, while adhering to the Government’s guidelines for banks to reduce 20 per cent of avoidable expenditure.