Home Banking Banks have agreed to increase wages by 17% to bank employees  and implement a public holiday on all Saturdays, pending government approval

Banks have agreed to increase wages by 17% to bank employees  and implement a public holiday on all Saturdays, pending government approval

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The Indian Banks’ Association and bank employee unions have reached an agreement to implement a wage increase for employees in public sector banks nationwide. The parties have agreed to a 17% annual wage hike for bank employees, effective from November 2022.

At the moment, banks operate on the first and third Saturdays of each month and are closed on the second and fourth Saturdays. There’s a proposal for bank employees to transition to a five-day work week, from Monday to Friday, resulting in closure of banks on all Saturdays and Sundays.

“The press release states that all Saturdays will be considered holidays as per the Joint Note, awaiting government notification. Revised working hours will come into effect upon government notification.”

They have also reached consensus on a 17 percent annual salary increase, leading to an additional yearly expenditure of approximately Rs 8,284 crore for public sector banks. This salary hike, slated to commence in November 2022, is anticipated to benefit up to 8 lakh bank employees.

When will this take effect?

It will come into effect upon government approval. If approved, all Saturdays will be officially designated as holidays under Section 25 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.

 According to a 2023 report by the Times of India, the government’s ownership of public sector banks grants it authority over this decision, which was already agreed upon and not part of wage negotiations. The RBI’s acceptance is also required as it regulates the timing of most interbank activities.

What will be the new schedule?

Details are still unclear, but according to some reports, employees may work an extra 40 minutes per day, extending from 9:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Will regular bank customers be affected by this?

Customers accustomed to handling their banking tasks on Saturdays will feel the impact. With banks providing numerous conveniences, mobile banking, ATMs, and internet banking have become the main avenues through which many customers manage their banking needs.

Increase in bankers’ salaries

According to the press release from the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation, the total increase in the pay component of wages amounts to over Rs. 8,284 crores, representing a 17% rise in the establishment expenses of Public Sector Banks. After factoring in the applicable load of 3.22% and the merger of dearness allowance at 30.38%, the effective increase on the basic pay is 4.20%. The new pay scales range from Rs. 48,480 to Rs. 1,73,860, covering all scales from Scale I to VII, effective from November 1, 2022.

Employee leave perks

The Confederation explained that the new pay scales were established by combining Dearness Allowance equivalent to 8088 points and any additional surplus. Moreover, the updated wage regulations include an added perk for female employees. According to the revision, all female staff members will be entitled to take one day of sick leave each month without needing a medical certificate. Additionally, employees will have the option to cash in accrued privilege leave for up to 255 days upon retirement or death while still in service.

Updates for retired staff

The updated regulations will bring about alterations for retired employees as well. According to the revisions, retired employees who meet the eligibility criteria for pension on or before October 31, 2022, including those who retired on that date, will receive a monthly ex-gratia amount in addition to the pension or family pension provided by public sector banks, including SBI, to pensioners and their families.

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