Banks asked to curb work hours from 10 am to 2 pm amid surge in COVID-19
Faced with the unabated rise in COVID-19 infections, the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) has advised banks to restrict working hours between 10 am to 2 pm.
Faced with the unabated rise in COVID-19 infections, the Indian Banks' Association (IBA) has advised banks to restrict working hours between 10 am to 2 pm, showed a letter issued by the industry body.
"We are going through the challenging period of resurgence of the mutant virus with several states reporting record high daily numbers of new infections and there are serious concerns about the economic activities," IBA said in a letter to State Level Banking Committee (SLBC) convenors on 21 April. Mint has seen a copy of the letter.
The IBA organized a special managing committee meeting on 21 April and decided to issue advisory on some additional steps that can be taken by banks in addition to the steps mentioned in standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued last year.
"Unlike last year the states are now issuing their guidelines for breaking the chain of COVID-19 depending on gravity of the local situation, banks may have to follow different COVID protocols in different states and districts," it said.
According to the letter, banks will continue to provide four mandatory services of accepting deposits, cash withdrawals, remittance and government businesses. The SLBCs of each state and union territory will review the situation in their respective locations and decide on additional services that can be provided under existing situation, it said.
"Employees may be called on rotational basis or be allowed to work from home as the case may be depending on the nature of job, staff position and size of the establishment, ideally 50% of the employees may be called for "in person" duty and on rotation basis," it said.
In fact, some SLBCs have already decided to implement shorter banking hours of 10 am to 2 pm as against 10 am to 4 pm. For instance, the Bihar SLBC has said that pregnant women and staff members with co-morbidities or physical disabilities will work from home.
Meanwhile, the IBA said in its recent letter that SLBCs can contact the chief medical officers and other senior level government officials to arrange mass vaccination for employees at office premises or at suitable places which are mutually convenient within the state protocols.
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