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Do Bankers Have No Right To Spend Holidays & Festivals With Their Family – Who is Responsible For This Mess of canceling of Their Holidays Every Year?



Rajesh Goyal 

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One of the most popular pages on our website during the months of September, October and November is the page where we display bank holidays.  Why?  Simple because, Banks being opened for six days a week, bankers get rarely get a chance to enjoy two or three bank holidays in continuation.   Therefore, bankers who are posted outside their family station, keep on checking the holidays in their state where they are posted and the holidays at the state where their family is stationed.  It is during this period India has the maximum festivals and thus all those posted away from their families, book their tickets in advance and also try to apply in advance for two or three more leave so that they can enjoy five to seven days of holidays to visit their family.

This year in 2014, some states had four to five holidays in continuation around 2nd October.  Thus, large number of them had bookings for visiting their families.  Having remained posted away from my family for few years, I know the efforts put up by such people to avail one or two days leave in addition to such holidays.  They try to complete all their work – may be closing statements or some targets so that controlling office does not spoil their holidays / leave period.

Yesterday we received an email from one of our readers, which prompted us  to upload this article.   I am holding the name of the person and the Bank name, as I am of the view that these feelings are not limited to that person or that bank only.  These things happen across the banking industry but few of us have the courage to challenge these with the authorities.  I will say that now even bankers do not have the courage to send such issues to under anonymous name.   I sincerely thank the reader who has the courage to send us the email and the other details.  

The following are the excerpts from the letter received by us from South India, which many of you will feel to be your own story across India :-

 “Dear Goyal Sir,

 I am an employee of ----------Bank  and a regular visitor to ABS.  I appreciate your views through various articles published every now and then and I hope that you will take pains in going through this email about the ongoing practices in ------------Bank.

 Even though we are used to work on Sundays and holidays, which is a regular practise in all the banks across India, the latest circular issued in our bank is not only quite irritating but also unlawful and inhuman in nature (Correct me if I used harsh words).

 In our State, Govt. has declared holidays on 02, 03rd, 04th of October on occasion of Gandhi Jayanthi and Vijayadashami and 5th is a Sunday.  Almost all of us have made our travel plans long back and have booked tickets to go to our native places, as such kind of occasions seldom come in banking industry. Many of us have paid upto Rs.2500/- ticket for travel  Bangalore / Hyderabad /Mumbai, since bus tickets have skyrocketed during the past 10-15 days.

 To our utter shock, at about 4:00 p.m. in the evening of 01st October, our bank has silently uploaded a circular on our intranet with regard to loading of cash in ATMs on 03rd (Vijayadashami) and 5th (Sunday). There was no mention of any compensation/rest on other days, for working on these 2 days.

 More disturbing is the tone of the circular which says that ATM cash outs during these holidays will be viewed seriously.

  I am enclosing a copy of the circular highlighting the important contents for your ready reference. 

 Though, I am lucky for not holding cash keys, I am feeling very much depressed looking at the plight of my colleagues, who were forced to cancel all their tour programmes planned at least a few months before. I feel very much sorry for the officers who have to cut sorry faces in front of their children / spouses and other family members. I have been struggling to control my B.P. for the past 2 days and finally decided to bring the circular to the public domain through allbankingsolutions and hope that you will definitely educate the readers with reference to our rights and duties.

 We have lost total faith in our officers union, as they have not even bothered to issue a protest letter to the management on the above issue. Many of the youngsters are fuming and are planning to breakaway from the present recognized union of our bank and float their own shortly. It is learnt that some are planning to approach Human Rights Commission and Central Labour Commissioner”


(We are not giving the name of the bank and the name of the person who has sent us the email). 

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Circular of the Bank Issued on 1st October 2014



ATM – Consecutive holidays on October 2,3,4 & 5 - Cash Replenishment


In view of consecutive holidays on October 2,3,4 & 5 in the state of -----------, ATM branches are requested to replenish the cash in all attached ATMs to full capacity after the business hours on Wednesday, the 01st October 2014.


02. ATM Branches in other states, where consecutive holidays are declared are required to replenish the cash in all attached ATMs to full capacity after the business hours on the working day prior to holiday.


03. Branches should also note to replenish the ATMs at the commencement of business hours on next working day after holidays, without fail.


04. All ATM branches should make adequate arrangements in advance for sufficient cash to replenish in ATMs.


05. Further on account of festivals and first week of the month there may be heavy cash withdrawals in ATMs. Based on the cash disbursed by ATMs in the first week of the month, we advise replenishment of cash by branches in ------- State as under:


a)    101 branches listed in Annexure-A should replenish cash in ATMs attached to them on Friday, the 3rd October 2014 and on Sunday, the 5th October 2014.


b)   107 branches listed in Annexure-B should replenish cash in ATMs attached to them on Friday, the 3rd October 2014.




c)    In respect of the remaining branches in -------- State (including Currency Chest Branches), Module Heads / Controllers may permit


branches to load cash in ATMs only once during these holidays, either on 3rd or 5th October 2014, depending on the requirement, on a case to case basis.



06. Link Branches in Annexure-A and Annexure-B to make available cash to CIT agencies of Brown Label ATMs on mentioned dates.


07. Permission has been obtained from Reserve Bank of India to operate the Currency Chests in ----------- state  for cash withdrawals to meet ATM cash replenishment. Currency Chest Branches with minimum staff required for ATM cash replenishment purpose should operate and make available cash to other ATM branches.


8.     Instructions to the Currency Chest branches:


I.        Complete CCTV recording of activities should be made and viewed independently by an officer not connected with cash. Further, certificate to this effect should be submitted to their Controlling Authorities and RBI.

 II.        Make fool-proof security arrangements.


III.        Ensure that all the relevant laws, Regulations etc, including DBOD instructions, which may be applicable should be complied with.


IV.      Currency Chest transactions should be reported to RBI through ICCOMS immediately on the same day. G Seva branch to ensure that the transactions are reported to RBI on the same day (On 3rd and 5th of October 2014).


9.      Branches should not have other than ATM related transactions in CBS on the permitted holidays.


10.  Module Heads / Controlling Authorities / ZITC Officials / CM(GB)’s / ADC Managers should follow up and monitor the ATM cash replenishment and prevent cash outs in ATMs. Any cash outs on holidays will be viewed seriously.


11.  Please bring the contents of this circular to the notice of all the concerned.


(Colours and emphasis added in the above circular.  Name of the State has been deleted.)



Comments by Rajesh Goyal ( :

I am sure every banker will also agree with the following fact :-

·         The holidays in banks are announced at the start of the year and thus every authority in the banks knows about the consecutive holidays right at least from 1st January itself.

In my earlier articles uploaded in previous years, I have raised the question why banks / RBI does not have plans to meet such pre-announced holidays.  To upload a circular late afternoon just before the holiday period begins is simply torturous for the people who had planned to spend holidays with their family members.

The above raised the following questions on the top management of the banks :-

·         Is it the responsibility of merely the branch managers to manage the branches.   Why HR Divisions and Customer Related Divisions of the banks do not plan for such pre-announced holidays two months in advance and let the staff arrangement be made a month or two month in advance for such days.

·         Why banks in the circular do not announce compensation plans for the staff (it may be day’s salary or compensatory leave) who will be required to attend office during such periods.  This too can be announced in advance so that local staff who are not keen to go out during that season may offer to attend the office during that period

·         Why in case of emergent cases, if such a circular is needed to be issued, why  clear provision for reimbursement of the tickets already booked by staff and their family members, alongwith compensatory leaves and additional compensation for working on holidays is announced in the same circular.  Why staff is left to be under pressure and fend for themselves.   Undoubtedly customer is important but equally important is the human resources (staff) who are required to attend to such customers

The above issue also raises questions about the union leaders who have miserably failed to negotiate an honourable wage settlement with IBA in recent times.  I have seen many union leaders on FaceBook and other social medias who barge about their plans.   However, these leaders rarely go beyond the routine of writing a letter or so to management without any follow up.  This is merely to silence their cadre and barge that they take up such issues with management.  

Aam Banker can not fight such issues on individual basis, but Unions can take up these strongly and ensure that this does not happen next time.   However, we see such problems every year during last days of income tax payments, Puja Holidays etc.   In few weeks union leaders forget such issues and these  surface next year.  Under pressure from cadre, they again make some noises, but do not follow for a permanent solution.  Again next year, management issues such blatant circulars. Bank unions charge the heaviest of the monthly subscription (I will like to tell our readers that in Delhi School Teachers hardly pay Rs 10/- per month as union subscription, but still get excellent wage revision) but fail to take up the issues in the right earnest.

 In my earlier articles I have written that in some  private companies / MNCs, the employees are encouraged to remain with their families on weekends (i.e. Saturdays and Sundays) if such officers are on tour or out of station.  They are even reimbursed the airfare for spending their weekends with their families.   I am not expecting this from PS Banks, but at least the staff should be free to go to their family on weekends and on holidays.   If required to be in station, this must be announced two months in advance with adequate compensation in terms of leave and money 


Questions That Need To be Answered :

The above reader has raised some very pertinent questions for which even I do not have any answers.  I leave it our readers and union leaders to reply to the queries raised by our reader who has asked us to flag this issue:-

·         (1) Whether  bankers are covered under labour laws. If so, whether this applies only to Award staff or to officers also.


·         (2) What are the provisions for calling officers/staff to duties without giving them proper compensation / rest.


·         (3) Where can one find the exact  rule, which gives such powers to management to call the officers for duties as and when they feel so.


·         4) Whether an officers can refuse to obey such orders (As these orders sound unlawful).


·         5) Whether any unions / forums / courts can take suo-moto cases based on these circulars and issue necessary guidelines to stop these practices in future.  hopes  some present union leaders or ex-union leaders will throw more light on each of the above questions and UFBU leaders decide to take up the issue at industry level (It should be separate issue and not clubbed with Wage Revision or BPS negotiations.  I repeat it should NOT be clubbed with wage revision or else BPS gets diluted ).


There is a need to launch a war against such issues which create unnecessary tensions among the bankers and their family.   It leads to friction within the family also.



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