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SBI withdraws controversial circular on pregnant women candidates

The move came after Delhi Commission for women intervened in the matter and asked the bank explain its action.

January 29, 2022 / 03:20 PM IST
State Bank of India's revised recruitment rules for pregnant women have drawn criticism.

State Bank of India's revised recruitment rules for pregnant women have drawn criticism.


Country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) on January 29 withdrew the controversial circular that barred women candidates who are pregnant above three months from taking up jobs in the bank.

In view of the public sentiments, SBI has decided to keep the revised instructions regarding recruitment of pregnant women candidates in abeyance and continue with the existing instructions in the matter, the bank said in a statement.


The move came after Delhi Commission for women intervened in the matter and asked the bank explain its action.


The SBI circular dated 31 December said if pregnancy is of more than 3 months, the candidate will be considered temporarily unfit and she may be allowed to join within 4 months after delivery of child.
 Responding to this circular, Delhi Women’s commission on 29 January said the action of the bank appears to be discriminatory and illegal as it is contrary to the maternity benefits provided under the ‘Code of Social Security, 2020.’

Further, the rule discriminates on the basis of sex which is against the fundamental rights provided under the constitution, the notice issued by the commission said.

Moneycontrol has copies of the SBI circular and the Delhi Women’s commission circular.

As per earlier rules of SBI, pregnant women candidates were eligible to be appointed in the bank up to six months of pregnancy, provided the candidate furnishes a certificate from specialist gynecologist that her taking up the bank’s employment at that stage is in no way likely to interfere with her pregnancy or the normal development of the foetus, or is not likely to cause her miscarriage or otherwise to adversely affect her health.

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But this rule was changed now drawing the ire of employees and Women’s commission.

The Delhi women's commission, in the notice issued to SBI chairman, asked the bank to withdraw the circular and explain the steps taken by the bank to ensure the said guidelines are non-discriminatory to women.

Also, the commission asked the bank to explain the detailed process through which these guidelines were formed along with the names and designations of the approval authority.



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Dinesh Unnikrishnan is Deputy Editor at Moneycontrol. Dinesh heads the Banking and Finance Bureau at Moneycontrol. He also writes a weekly column, Banking Central, every Monday.
Tags: #SBI
first published: Jan 29, 2022 03:12 pm
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