Bankers working in sensitive positions, including treasury operations and currency chests, will get a surprise holiday of at least 10 working days or more in a single spell every year under the modified risk management guidelines of the Reserve Bank.
In a communication to lenders, including rural development banks and cooperative banks, the RBI asked them to put in place a ‘mandatory leave’ policy as part of the prudent risk management measure.
During the mandatory leave, the bank employee will not have access to any physical or virtual resources related to the work responsibilities, with the exception of internal/ corporate email which is usually available to all employees for general purposes.
“As a prudent operational risk management measure, the banks shall put in place a ‘mandatory leave’ policy wherein the employees posted in sensitive positions or areas of operation shall be compulsorily sent on leave for a few days (not less than 10 working days) in a single spell every year, without giving any prior intimation to these employees, thereby maintaining an element of surprise,” the RBI communication said.
The RBI, in its earlier guideline on the issue in April 2015, had not clearly specified the number of days for the mandatory surprise leave, though it said it could be “a few days (say 10 working days)”.
Central bank updated ‘mandatory leave’ policy
The central bank has updated the ‘mandatory leave’ policy for the employees posted in sensitive positions or areas of operation, and repealed the circular dated April 23, 2015.
Banks, as per a board-approved policy, have been asked to prepare a list of sensitive positions to be covered under ‘mandatory leave’ requirements and also review the list periodically.
RBI has asked banks to comply with the revised instructions within six months.
As per the April 2015 circular, sensitive positions or areas of operations covered under the ‘mandatory leave’ policy include treasury, currency chests, risk modelling, and model validation.
As per a circular of 2011 on ‘Findings of Forensic Scrutiny- Guidelines for prevention of frauds’, banks were advised to immediately put in place ‘staff rotation’ policy and policy for ‘mandatory leave’.