SBI Suspends Guidelines On Recruitment Of Pregnant Women After Facing Backlash

In the existing instructions, women candidates up to six months of pregnancy were allowed to join the bank under conditions like a certificate from a gynaecologist.

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The State Bank of India had placed new rules for the recruitment of pregnant women candidates, wherein it stated that women with more than three months of pregnancy will be considered "temporarily unfit" and can join within four months after delivery. After facing backlash on this, the bank in its official statement has suspended the rule and will continue with the existing instruction on the matter.

The news agency ANI reported today that SBI has out a statement rolling back the revised guidelines. In its official statement, it said, "SBI recently reviewed various Fitness Standards for Recruitment in Bank, including norms for Pregnant Women candidates. Revised guidelines were intended to provide clarity on health parameters where instructions were not clear or very old."

SBI Pregnant Women Controversy Over New Guidelines:

The bank also stated that this rollback is after "some sections of the media" interpreted it as discriminatory against women. "SBI has always been proactive towards the care and empowerment of its women employees who now constitute around 25 percent of our workforce," the official statement stated.

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They also mentioned that during COVID-19, the government had directed pregnant women employees not to attend office and allowed work from home for them. "However, in view of the public sentiments, SBI has decided to keep the revised instructions regarding the recruitment of pregnant women candidates in abeyance and continue with the existing instructions in the matter," the Bank stated.

In the existing instructions, women candidates up to six months of pregnancy were allowed to join the bank under conditions like a certificate from a gynaecologist, approving that the candidate's bank employment will not interfere with her pregnancy, cause miscarriage, or impact her health adversely.

Recently, India's largest lender SBI had revised this rule and stated that the candidate will only be considered fit in case the pregnancy is less than 3 months. The medical fitness and ophthalmological standards for new recruits and promotees, which dated December 31, 2021, stated, "However, if pregnancy is of more than 3 months, she will be considered temporarily unfit and she may be allowed to join within 4 months after delivery of the child."

This revision, which was approved on December 21 last year and was supposed to be applicable from April 1, 2022, got backlash and criticism from the All India State Bank of India Employees' Association. The General Secretary of the Association KS Krishna wrote to SBI management urging them to withdraw the guideline.

State Bank of India