Nepal SBI Bank continues to deduct salaries of employees to contribute to the Social Security Fund without their consent, its employees inform. ApEx had first reported on this on September 30.
Following protests by various employees of various banks against the SSF and a writ filed in the Supreme Court, the court had issued a stay on the government decision making it mandatory for all banks to participate in the SSF program. Other banks then refrained from sending their employee’s money to the SSF—but not Nepal SBI Bank.
Nepal SBI management had then agreed to refund the employees’ money it had deposited with the SSF, but now the bank has reneged on its promise. It continues to deduct employees’ salary and deposit the amount in the SSF, against the court order, an employee tells ApEx.
The bank has pressed ahead with its decision to take part in the fund’s programs in the last month of the previous fiscal, even as a petition filed by employees of various banks remains under consideration at the court.
Before the government rolled out the SSF, Nepal SBI employees had their own Employees’ Provident Fund. But the bank has also stopped sending money to the fund.
For the first few weeks of protests, employees worked with a black band on their arms to express their displeasure.
They stopped doing so as the employees’ union got increasingly worried about the bank’s public image. “The bank management seems to have seen our restraint as a weakness and still refuses to hear us out,” says another disappointed employee who is also a member of the union.
The union has also leveled other charges against the bank. It has accused the bank of not maintaining accurate records of money sent to the Employees’ Provident Fund, not transferring employees working in rural areas to urban areas for a long time, and cutting down on different perks.