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After announcing special payments to its staff working in bank branches during 21-day shutdown to battle coronavirus, State Bank of India (SBI) has made modifications to the Scheme-I to cover employees affected on account of Covid-19 infection. Bank employees in the event of death/ disability/ serious injury while on duty are covered under the Scheme-I for payment of compensation.

In a circular SBI announced, " 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 20.00 lakh, for all categories of Permanent Employees in the Bank, as per the scheme," SBI said in the circular.

The modified provisions of the scheme will be effective from the date of issuance of the circular and will remain effective 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." the circular said.

Earlier, the bank had announced that it has been decided to pay 'one-day's salary' (Basic Pay DA) for every six working days on which an employee has worked, starting from 23 March up to 14 April or till the end of the lockdown period, whichever is earlier. The amount will be payable to all the staff members posted in branches, CPCs, CACs, Treasury Operations, Global Markets, GITC and IT Services. The payments will be made to the eligible staff members through HRMS after the stated period.

SBI had earlier 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 bank has also resorted to staggered working hours to maintain social distancing in the wake of coronavirus outbreak. According to a PTI report, SBI's Managing Director P K Gupta said they have implemented staggered time slots for banking hours across the country in consultation with state governments.

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