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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sabbatical yet to gain momentum

For most women, priority is home, however career minded they may be. While some have the advantage of having a member of the extended family take care of their children, most mothers prefer to stay with them during their decisive growing years.

Considering this, the Khandelwal Committee report on HR issues of public sector banks (PSBs) recommended in 2010 that sabbatical of two years be allowed at request to women employees to meet their special problems during their career.

Following this, the Ministry of Finance issued a broad guideline on February 28 this year asking the PSBs to grant sabbatical of two years to women employees.

The annual report of Central Bank of India for 2011-12 says that it implemented this with effect from April 1. Some other banks are also mulling this decision now.

Usha Ananthasubramanian, Executive Director of Punjab National Bank, said that her bank has also implemented this recommendation.

“Recently, one of our sub-staff availed herself of this as her husband, who was working in another PSB, was posted to an overseas branch of that bank. We were certain that she will be away for the two-year period. This gives some clarity, and helps us in manpower planning,” she said.

Though the union representatives agree with the fact that this is a good move by the Government, they cite the shortage of manpower as the main problem for its implementation in PSBs.

Yet another banker said: “Read between the lines of the recommendation.”

It says two years sabbatical during the career. There are people who go on a sabbatical in instalments, first for a period of six months, then they return to work for a couple of months and prefer to take the rest after a gap. “We cannot deny them this, but the manpower planning goes for a toss,” said this official.


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