SBI Under Fire For Terming Pregnant Women As Unfit For Work
State Bank Of India (SBI) has come under fire for mistreating and dismissing a pregnant woman employee as unfit for work if they were three months pregnant or more. The Delhi Commission for Women issued a notice to State Bank of India for stopping women who are pregnant from joining work. The commission’s Chairperson Swati Maliwal tweeted that this was ‘discriminatory’ and that the bank’s action is as much illegal as well, as it could affect maternity benefits provided under the law.
Under the law, a woman cannot be terminated from service if she is pregnant under any pretext. In fact, she also can get extended maternity leave in order to look after her child, if need be.
In a notice that has been sent by SBI to women employees, it states that such pregnant women are ‘temporarily considered unfit for work’. While tweeting Ms. Maliwal, the Delhi Commission for Women, or DCW, said SBI in a circular on December 31 stopped women who are more than three-month pregnant from joining work, despite having been selected through due process.
“The circular states such pregnant women may be allowed to join within four months after delivery of child,” the DCW said. The DCW asked SBI to explain the process behind how these guidelines were formed, and to give the names of officials who approved them. On questioning, SBI tweeted back saying it had withdrawn the guidelines for pregnant women. “Revised instructions about recruitment of pregnant women candidates stands withdrawn,” SBI said. Earlier, women candidates up to six-month pregnant were allowed to join SBI under some conditions, including getting a certificate from a gynecologist that her taking up employment at that stage would not affect her health.