SBI has put a halt to a contentious circular regarding the recruitment of pregnant women.

In a statement released on Saturday, the bank stated that it will continue to follow the existing regulations, which enable women up to six months pregnant to join the bank.

NEW DELHI: The State Bank of India (SBI) has decided to postpone its new policy stating that women who are pregnant for more than three months would be regarded ‘unfit’ for employment due to social media outrage.

In a statement released on Saturday, the bank stated that it will continue to follow the existing regulations, which enable women up to six months pregnant to join the bank. The country’s largest bank confirmed that it has recently’reviewed’ different fitness requirements for recruitment, including norms for pregnant women applicants, and that the updated rules were meant to offer clarity on certain health factors where instructions were unclear or outdated.

Despite the fact that some media outlets have interpreted the new rules as discriminatory against women, the bank claims it has always been proactive in caring for and empowering its female workers, who make up around a quarter of its staff.

Pregnant women employees were excused from attending work during the Covid-19 period, according to government orders, and permitted to work from home, according to the SBI.Women applicants who are more than three months pregnant would be regarded temporarily unsuitable and will be permitted to join just four months after the birth of the child, according to the SBI’s amended standards. The amended standards sparked a debate once they were made public, with many women criticising the public sector bank’s discriminatory hiring policy.

Priyanka Chaturvedi, a member of the Shiva Sena, had written to the finance minister, urging that she persuade the bank management to withdraw the updated rules. The Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) head Swati Maliwal sent a notice to SBI, requesting that the policy be withdrawn. The DCW took suo motu notice of media reports and declared the new guidelines to be unlawful, discriminatory, and unconstitutional since they violate a woman’s constitutional rights. “It is inexcusable that a pregnant woman be labelled ‘Temporarily Unfit’ and denied employment chances just because she is pregnant,” Maliwal added.

 

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