SBI gives 2-years sabbatical to women staff; may extend to males

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Women employees of SBI can now take two-year sabbatical leave from work for purposes like children's education.

State Bank of India (SBI) is likely to extend this facility to single male parents as well.

"We have brought in a two-year sabbatical for our women staff in case they want to take it for any purposes like education of their children, taking care of the elderly parents/in-laws," Arundhati Bhattacharya, the first woman to head SBI, told PTI in an interview.

When asked if the scheme, which she had announced immediately after taking over last October, is in place, she replied in the affirmative.

Many private sector organisations, including banks like ICICI Bank, have such provisions in place, but a state-run bank implementing such a provision is probably new.

Bhattacharya said the bank was planning to extend the sabbatical leave to single-male parents as well, as the bank needs to be sensitive to their special needs.

"At this point we have not done that. But down the line, we might look at single-parents, as well as males who are single-parents. They also need that kind of sensitivity and we should look at that," she said.

Bhattacharya, who had implemented a system of sabbaticals of six years for women during her previous stint as the head of SBI's investment banking subsidiary SBI Caps, said she had to limit it two years at the bank in line with the policies followed by the government.

"At SBI Caps, we had done it for a longer period of time. Here, we have done it for two years mainly because the government also has it for two years," she said.

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