State Bank of India (SBI), after backlash on social media, has withdrawn guidelines that said women more than three months pregnant will be considered unfit for recruitment.
Earlier, women candidates were eligible for appointment in SBI up to six months of pregnancy, subject to doctors’ certification. But in a circular dated December 31, the bank declared women over three months pregnant “temporarily unfit” for service. SBI said that such candidates can join work within four months of giving birth.Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal had described SBI’s new rule as illegal and discriminatory. The panel had issued a notice to SBI.
State Bank of India seems to have issued guidelines preventing women who are over 3 months pregnant from joining service & have termed them as ‘temporarily unfit’. This is both discriminatory and illegal. We have issued a Notice to them seeking withdrawal of this anti women rule. pic.twitter.com/mUtpoCHCWq
— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) January 29, 2022
“As per media reports, a recent circular issued by the bank on December 31 prevents women who are more than three-month pregnant from joining service despite having been selected through due process,” read the notice signed by Maliwal.
DCW had said SBI’s circular was contrary to maternity benefits provided to women under the Code of Social Security, 2020. “Further, it discriminates on the basis of sex, which is against the fundamental right provided under the Constitution of India.”
DCW had asked SBI to explain how the rules were framed and sought details of the officials who approved them. It also told the bank to submit a detailed report on the action taken in the matter.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi had written to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and SBI Chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara, asking them to immediately revoke the guidelines.
SBI in its revised guidelines says candidates who are 3 months pregnant will be considered temporarily unfit&will be allowed to join 4 months after delivery of child. This is discriminatory in nature. I urge Hon @nsitharaman ji & CMD @TheOfficialSBI to revoke this immediately. pic.twitter.com/AUmOaHbWzv— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) January 29, 2022
“Such regressive and sexist guidelines will exacerbate the exclusion of women and the inequality faced by them,” she added.
CH Venkatachalam, the secretary of All India Bank Employees Association, had described SBI’s circular as unfair and unprofessional.
“No other bank has such rules that bar pregnant women from being eligible to apply for bank jobs,” Venkatachalam said. “SBI needs to urgently reconsider this circular.”Communist Party of India (Marxist) MP Su Venketesan had said: “This is in clear violation of gender equality enshrined in our Constitution. Withdraw the order immediately.”