|Crying for welfare
A leading international bank gave wide publicity in the Press that they were established over a 100 years ago and that they are one of the oldest banks in Sri Lanka and one of the leading banks in the world. But it is disappointing to note that this bank which is in existence for over 100 years in Sri Lanka, is unable to provide welfare facilities to its former employees, as provided by the Central Bank and the state banks which have been in existence for less than half this period. This shows the uncaring and ungrateful attitude of this bank to its former employees who have sacrificed a lot for the growth of the bank. The bank seems to follow the old colonial policy of exploiting the staff and showing profits. The former employees appear to be like "squeezed oranges" and thrown away after extracting the maximum out of them.
Foreign banks which are established in Sri Lanka should at least provide minimum welfare facilities that are being provided by state banks to their employees.
The director, bank supervision and the director, social services, should request foreign banks to comply with these minimum social benefits. With the introduction of the Protection of Elders Act No. 9 of 2000, it should be made mandatory for all banks and financial institutions to publish in their annual reports the retirement terminal benefits and the periodical increases given to ex-employees. At present there is no uniformity in the payment of retirement benefits among state sector banks, private sector banks, and the branches of the foreign banks operating in Sri Lanka. If these benefits are published in the annual reports, the wide and amazing disparities could be narrowed down.
As the UN has declared October 1 of each year as Elders Day, it is hoped that on this day, employees of institutions will be facilitated and honoured on this date. As some of the institutions have already implemented this by holding annual get-togethers with the former employees by providing a lunch or dinner. Hope all other institutions who have not implemented such schemes, will, in future, do so, as an act of gratitude.
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