The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) wants banks to send employees working in sensitive positions and places to be sent on compulsory surprise leave for at least ten days every year. In a circular to banks, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said employees should be sent on leave without any prior intimation and they should not be given official work during the mandatory leave period.
“As a prudent operational risk management measure, the banks should put in place a ‘mandatory leave’ policy wherein the employees posted in sensitive positions or areas of operation should 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 central bank said.
According to the RBI, banks should ensure that employees, while on ‘mandatory leave’, do not have access to any physical or virtual resources related to their work responsibilities, with the exception of internal or corporate email which is usually available to all employees for general purposes.
The central bank said banks should, as per a board-approved policy, prepare a list of sensitive positions to be covered under ‘mandatory leave’ requirements and the list shall be reviewed periodically. Implementation of this policy should be reviewed under the supervisory process.
The revised instructions should be applicable to all the banks and they should comply with these instructions within six months from the date of issue of the RBI circular, it said.
In 2015, the RBI had said treasury, currency chests, risk modelling and model validation should be covered under a ‘Mandatory Leave’ policy wherein such employees are required to compulsorily avail of leave for a few days (say 10 working days) in a single spell every year, during their posting in such areas.
For key and sensitive posts such as those in dealing rooms, treasury, relationship managers for high value customers, heads of specialised branches, banks should select only such officers who satisfy the “fit and proper” criteria, the RBI had said.
“The banks should immediately put in place “staff rotation” policy and policy for “mandatory leave” for staff. The internal auditors as also the concurrent auditors must be specifically required to examine the implementation of these policies and point out instances of breaches irrespective of apparent justifications for non-compliance, if any,” the RBI had said. The decisions taken or transactions effected by officers and staff not rotated/availing leave as per policy should be subjected to comprehensive examination by the internal auditors and inspectors including concurrent auditors, it added.