SBI's controversial circular on expecting mothers' recruitment pulled back
India's largest bank, the State Bank of India has temporarily withdrawn the controversial circular calling pregnant women ‘unfit’ for recruitment after facing severe criticism
India's largest bank, the State Bank of India has temporarily withdrawn the controversial circular calling pregnant women ‘unfit’ for recruitment after facing severe criticism.
In December 2020, SBI had released an updated 'Fitness Standards for Recruitment in the Bank' and mentioned that a female candidate with more than three months of pregnancy are not fit enough and the bank will consider them as ‘temporarily unfit, but they can resume their work within four months after their delivery.
Notably, earlier, women candidates up to six-month pregnant were allowed to join SBI services under some conditions, including getting a fitness certificate from a gynaecologist that taking up the employment at that stage would not affect her health.
Various bodies including labour unions and the Delhi Commission for Women have criticised the bank for calling pregnant women ‘temporarily unfit.
The Delhi Commission for Women issued a notice to the State Bank of India for the same as it feels the bank's action is discriminatory and illegal because it could affect maternity benefits provided under the law.
The DCW also asked SBI to explain the process behind how these guidelines were formed and to give the names of officials who approved them.
After SBI's guidelines catch controversy, the bank informed on the official social that it has withdrawn the guidelines for pregnant women and clarified that SBI has decided to keep the revised instructions regarding recruitment of pregnant women candidates on hold and continue with the existing instructions in the matter.
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