Gross gender discrimination by SBI

C.P.Krishnan (சி.பி.கிருஷ்ணன்)

State Bank of India (SBI), a premier Public Sector Bank with a history of more than 200 years and the largest single employer in the Banking Industry has indulged in gross gender discrimination.

The recruitment guidelines issued by SBI Deputy Managing Director (HR) on 31st December 2021 prohibit women candidates with more than 3 months pregnancy from joining the Bank even after due selection process as “they will be considered temporarily unfit”,   “they may be allowed to join within 4 months after delivery of child”.  This is nothing but gross gender discrimination.

Constitutional guarantees equality

Article 14 of the Constitution of India provides for equality before law. Article 15 states that “The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds of only religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them. According to Article 16 (1) there shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State. (2) no citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or  discriminated against in respect of any employment or office under the State.

Feudal mindset of SBI management

It is vivid that the above referred guidelines issued by SBI are unconstitutional. Public Sector Banks being owned by Government of India should be model employers. But this act of the SBI management displays its feudal mindset.  It is not the first time such retrograde recruitment guidelines are issued. Even during the year 2009 such guidelines were issued. The former Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan took up this issue with the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the former Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) president  M K Pandhe wrote a letter to the then Finance Minister Pranab  Mukherjee protesting against those discriminatory guidelines of SBI. There were protests from the bank employees and women’s organisations. Then only those retrograde guidelines were withdrawn.

CITU writes to Union Finance Minister

The present guidelines through the circular dated 31.12.2021 are issued ostensibly to avoid the benefit of maternity leave to the women new recruits.  These will also deny the women employees their rightful seniority and wages for the period of denial of employment ranging from 5 to 11 months besides other losses like PF, Gratuity, Pension etc.  CITU has again taken up the matter with the Union Finance Minister. Tapan Sen, General Secretary of CITU, in his letter dated 27th January 2022 addressed to Nirmala Sitaraman, Union Finance Minister, has condemned these guidelines as most reprehensible and against the equality of opportunity ensured by the Constitution of India. He has further demanded of the Finance Minister that this discriminatory provision be withdrawn immediately. In his concluding part of the letter, Tapan Sen stated that “I hope that being a woman, you will personally intervene to correct this”.

All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) lodged its protest through a press statement on 27th January 2022. Communist Party of India MP Binoy Viswam has tweeted on 28th January 2022 against these discriminatory guidelines of SBI and sought the intervention of the Union Finance Minister.

Bank Employees Federation of India through its letter dated 28th Jan 2022 addressed to the Chairman, SBI expressed that the guidelines were utterly discriminatory, arbitrary and gross deprivation of maternity and other statutory benefits available to a female employee and demanded immediate withdrawal of these guidelines. All India State Bank of India Employees’ Association (AIBEA) also took up this issue with the Deputy Managing Director of SBI through its letter dated 28.01.2022 and demanded immediate withdrawal of these new guidelines.

It is hoped that the Government of India said to be committed to women’s empowerment and equality would act swiftly and ensure that these retrograde recruitment guidelines of SBI are immediately withdrawn and guarantee that no such discrimination is shown either by the Public Sector or by the Private Sector.


  1. எங்கெல்லாம் தொழிலாளர்களுக்கு பாதிப்பு ஏற்படுகிறதோ அங்கு உடனே BEFI,மற்றும் CITU தலையிட்டு பேசுகிறது. தீர்க்க முயலுகிறது. முடிவில் தீர்க்கிறது என்பது மகிழ்ச்சி அடைகிறேன்.தோழர் CPK யின் முழு பங்களிப்பு பாராட்டுக்குரியது. வெல்லட்டும் உங்கள் பணி.ரவீந்திரன்

  2. A timely article on the retrograde measure of State Bank of India management making a mockery of gender equality

  3. Confident that the voices of the democratic associations are heard by the power centre. Trade Unions have also demanded the Union Government to ask the SBI to rescind their decision on women recruitment. Yet another timely intervention.

  4. Very justified demand. And what if the lady is already working in the bank and gets pregnant…..Wont they allow her to continue with her pregnancy. It seems some motherless sadist has framed this disgusting policy….

  5. The act of issuing recruitment notice and openly stating on the denial or temporary unfit due to 3 months and above pregnancy is gross gender discrimination. Is this not a perverse way of looking into cost cutting? How can the top recruiter in the Banking industry get down to such low levels? Definitely condemnable. Surprisingly there is also a mention of same process in 2009, otherwise it’s usually blame it on the present Govt.

  6. A very apt demand by the ladies and for the ladies. Can anyone be denied motherhood. on such silly ground. The provision for Maternity leave and benefits to women, is already available in the Statutory vide Maternity Benefit Act 1961. Were our forefathers out of their heads when this Statute was formulated?. I think the SBI should have consulted a good Labour Practitioner before bringing out these new rules. No living being from an amoeba to a human being can be given life without a Mother.. ..even the person who brought this rules needs to be reminded of this…. utterly disgusting , in an era where we are talking of NO gender bias, equality among the genders women Empowerment and all.

  7. When world itself celebrates motherhood where india is known for worshiping a mother as God, this act of denial of eligibility on the ground of motherhood , by SBI, is shocking. May be HR head is unable to understand the significance of a motherhood.

  8. Maternity benefit actன் படி மகப்பேறு விடுமுறை பெற வேலைக்கு சேர்ந்து குறைந்தபட்சம் 80 நாட்கள் வேலை செய்திருக்க வேண்டும். வங்கி ஊழியர்களாகிய நமக்கு இருதரப்பு ஒப்பந்தங்கள் தான் அடிப்படை. அதில் அவ்வாறாக எந்த விதியும் சேர்க்கப்படவில்லை‌. ஆனால், நிர்வாகங்கள் மறைமுகமாக புதிதாக பணிக்கு சேரும் பெண்கள் மகப்பேறு விடுப்பு பெறுவதை பறிக்க முயல்கின்றன. அதன் வெளிப்பாடு தான் கருவுற்ற பெண்கள் வேலையில் சேர்வதை தள்ளிப்போடும் முயற்சி. சுரண்டல் அமைப்பின் ஆணாதிக்க சிந்தனையுடனான சட்டங்கள் மற்றும் விதிகள் இவை. கிராம வங்கிகளில் இப்போதும் கருவுற்று ஆறு மாதமோ அல்லது அதற்கு மேலோ ஆன பெண்கள் குழந்தை பிறந்து மூன்று மாதம் கழித்தே பணியில் சேர அனுமதிக்கப்படுகிறார்கள். இதுவே யதார்த்தம்☹️

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