State Bank of India (SBI) has expanded an existing compensation scheme to include coronavirus cases. The compensation scheme offers up to Rs 20 lakh benefit to its employees. The bank made modifications to Scheme-I, which covers bank employees in the event of death/ disability/ serious injury while on duty, and extended the provisions of the scheme to cover its staff working during 21-day lockdown to battle coronavirus pandemic.
SBI, in a statement, said, "Keeping into view the special circumstances of outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, it has been decided to extend the provisions of the captioned scheme to cover employees affected on account of Covid-19 disease. Accordingly, any employee affected due to the Covid-19 disease while on duty or otherwise, in the event of death, shall be covered under the "Scheme-I" for payment of compensation."
"The cash compensation in such cases would be Rs 20.00 lakh, for all categories of Permanent Employees in the Bank, as per the scheme," the circular added.
The modified provisions would be effective from the issuance date of circular and for up to 1 year.
"On account of spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19), our bank staff are serving the customers and country at large, facing severe challenges and risks. Bank is taking all possible steps and coming up with the support measures to stand by our dedicated and strong work force, whether it is in the form of additional monetary assistance or extending coverage of other provisions/ facilities etc." said the bank.
SBI had earlier also announced to pay its staff 'one-day's salary' (Basic Pay DA) for every six working days on which he/she had worked, between 23 March to 14 April or until the lockdown ends.
SBI, while showing concern about its staff, tweeted, "The safety of our customers and employees is our priority. Social Distancing and other such precautions are being taken at our branches across the country to curb the spread of coronavirus." The public sector bank has also reduced its working hours in order to maintain social distancing.