Money & Banking

AIBOC wants FM to issue advisory for ensuring bankers’ safety amid rising Omicron transmission

BL Mumbai Bureau | | | Updated on: Jan 08, 2022
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AIBOC has sought implementation of 5-day week, with public holiday for Banks on all Saturdays

The All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) wants bankers’ to be administered booster dose of the Covid vaccine, business hours to be restricted, and operation of branches and administrative offices with 50 per cent staff, among others, amid the third wave of the pandemic.

In a letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, AIBOC General Secretary Soumya Datta, emphasised that to ensure safety and well-being of bankers, who are keeping the wheels of the economy moving unhindered, they need to be administered Booster dose along with other Frontline Workers (FLWs) at the first instance when the scheme is rolled out.

Five day week

AIBOC sought implementation of 5-day week, with public holiday for Banks on all Saturdays to break the chain of transmission of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Currently, second and fourth Saturday of every month is a public holiday for Banks.

The Confederation wants business hours to be restricted between 10 am and 2 pm to reduce physical presence of customers at branches to contain transmission.

Datta noted that customers interests are unlikely to suffer due to restricted business hours due to rapid growth in alternate delivery channels such as ATMs, phone, net and mobile banking.

Further, the office hours should be strictly from 10 am to 5 pm to enable the bankers to reach home safely in the backdrop of cancellation of local trains and withdrawal of public transport after dusk.

AIBOC said that at all branches/ offices, only 50 per cent staff should be physically present and remaining staff should be allowed to work from home.

Additionally, the Confederation sought implementation of skeleton services at the branches for the time being “as majority of the employees of the branches may remain on mandatory quarantine due to massive transmission of the virus.”

“Visually challenged employees/ employees with physical disability should be allowed to work from home. Pregnant women should be allowed to work from home,” said Datta.

The Confederation said special status should be accorded to bankers for availing public transport, including suburban railways under essential service category.

It also want mandatory Rapid Antigen Tests at Head Offices/Zonal Offices/ Regional Offices/Central Processing Cells and big establishments to ‘detect, isolate and treat” at regular intervals.

AIBOC urged the Minister to issue necessary advisory urgently for ensuring safety and well-being of bankers, who are one of the most vulnerable sections of FLWs, as the nature of their job and responsibilities require them to ensure uninterrupted banking service across the nation.

As per the Confederation’s estimate, over 2000 bankers have succumbed to the Covid-19 virus sinceoutbreak of the pandemic.

Published on January 08, 2022

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