The death had sparked several protests from employee unions, who demanded strict action against the officials who denied the manager leave.

File photo of an SBI branch in HyderabadImage for representation: Picxy
news Coronavirus Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 13:40

The State Bank of India (SBI) issued a directive to employees on Tuesday after news of the death of a manager due to COVID-19 in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam triggered outrage. Multiple requests made by the manager P Rajesh, were allegedly turned down by higher authorities though he was showing COVID-19 symptoms. The directive which was released on Tuesday evening drew attention to the various Standard Operating Practices (SOP) issued by the bank for the protection of employees while also urging authorities to take strict action against those found flouting the rules.

"To our dismay, it has come to notice that in some places, the laid down guidelines/instructions are not being adhered to, leading to difficulties. It has also come to notice that at some places, staff members, despite showing symptoms of cough, fever etc. are being called upon to attend office work. Such actions not only put the staff member at grave risk, but also expose the other colleagues to risk as well," it said.

The directive also emphasized the importance of following the SOPs and highlighted some of the guidelines, listed below. 

  1. Any employee showing symptoms of fever, cough etc. to be asked not to attend office and to get themselves tested for the coronavirus.

  2. Office/branch premises to be invariably sanitised in the event of reporting of COVID-19 case and rules of local administration be followed.

  3. Regular cleanliness/fumigation of all premises must be ensured.

  4. Wearing of mask and adherence to physical distancing norms is a must.

  5. Strict adherence to the SOP on avoiding physical meetings.

  6. Work-life balance to be honoured for every employee and health to be given utmost priority.

  7. Anyone found violating the guidelines, should be taken to task.

  8. Compensation and other dues should be promptly paid in applicable cases.

The SBI Officers Association (Amaravati Circle)  had earlier written to the General Secretary of the SBI Officers’ Association located in Tirupati, alleging violation of COVID-19 guidelines by the bank’s higher authorities. They further claimed that despite testing positive for coronavirus, Rajesh’s requests for leave were turned down by the concerned senior officials. The directive was issued after various banking employee unions have asked for stringent action to be taken against higher officials after Rajesh’s death.

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