1 December 2015
Now, the employees of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) the largest life insurer in the country have reasons to cheer as the Finance Ministry is mulling work-free weekends for them soon. The decision in this regard is expected to come in a month or so.
“In order to encourage and motivate the LIC employees for better and productive output in week days, the Government is planning to offer the work-free weekends to its staff shortly. We have received the draft from its employees’ representation, seeking five days working days a week for an approval. We hope the ministry will approve the draft soon and will send it to the law ministry for its further suggestion. The department of financial services of the ministry is looking into it and the final approval will come soon after a review meeting in this regard,” said source in the Finance Ministry on Sunday.
Once the new wage package for LIC employees is implemented, apart from the only existing holiday, ie Sunday, LIC offices across the country will remain closed on all Saturdays too as the LIC Wage Bill has been debating this issue for the benefit of LIC employees.
“Earlier, the corporation had to toil hard for six days a week, but now they need to work for only five days. We expect that the decision on this matter along with the new wage pact for LIC employees will be implemented in a month’s time,” the sources said.
Confirming the development, a senior LIC official said, “We have already sent draft of the revised wage pact to the Finance Ministry for its approval in which the five-days-a-week issue has been mentioned.”
When contacted to All India LIC Employees Federation General Secretary AV Nachane on the issue, he said, “Unlike our peers such as bank employees and others, the LIC employees can now keep office work at bay and relax for two days in a week after five days’ hard work. It will boost their family ties and extend their support to them in many domestic issues as well.”
When asked about the LIC Wage Bill, Nachane said, “The unions and the management also agreed on a 15 per cent hike of wage. The wage package includes several innovations in LIC like PLLI (which will now be linked to revised basic current salary), meal coupon, mediclaim family floater scheme with annual risk cover of Rs20 lakh among others.”
In fact, the LIC management and the unions representing around 1 lakh employees of the insurance behemoth have agreed on a 15 per cent wage hike, which will be effective from August, 2012.
The new wage package, however, does not cap an increase in the basic salary unlike in the case of bank employees, who also sealed a wage hike package in May with a similar hike, while bank employees can have their basic pay revised upwards only to the tune of 2 per cent per annum.
The LIC management has been in discussions with the unions from September 2015, holding over 15 rounds of meetings before arriving at the final agreement. The new pact offers a 15 per cent hike in salary, which includes a 13.5 per cent increase in the basic pay and a 1.5 per cent raise in allowances like HRA, CCA (city compensation allowance) and daily commuting allowance.
“What is remarkable about the new wage pact is that there is no cap on annual increase in the basic pay at any stage unlike the bank employees who have a 2 per cent cap on the increase in basic pay at all pay scales,” Nachane said, adding that as a result, there is a steep rise in the basic pay that makes all the difference.
“The deal is likely to get the Finance Ministry’s nod shortly and I expect the new wages will be applicable from August 2012,” he added.