Tuesday, September 24, 2013

National Insurance Employees to Head Micro-Offices Outside Major Cities

Government-owned general insurer, National Insurance Company, on Wednesday, asked its employees to agree to sell policies and head micro-offices situated outside major cities, or get used to missing promotions for two years. The company has mandated even those who have spent more than 25 years of service in the company.

Reacting over the company's decision, Sri K. Govindan, Joint General Secretary, General Insurance Employees All India Association, told reporters, “Heading a micro-office may be good for a man. But for a woman, it is a risky proposition, as there are issues of personal safety as well as the safety of office cash involved."

Unions have taken up the issue with all the four public sector general insurers- National Insurance Company, New India Assurance Co. Ltd, Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd and United India Insurance Co. Ltd., Sri Govindan said adding, the centre has directed the four general insurers to set up at least one office in all the villages/towns having a population of over 10,000, so as to achieve wider financial inclusion.Hence the insurers have decided to open micro offices in all such towns, but the insurers observe that some employees are not keen to take charges, as the pay and the perks to be paid are not proportionate with the work involved.

According to an industry insider, at the same pay, a person heading the micro-office not only has to sell the products and achieve the target, but also issue the policy document, deposit the cash/cheques collected in the bank and keep the office open.

“If the employee opts to take up a new assignment, then there is no quarrel. The problem arises when the employee is shown the stick - take up marketing or else no promotion for the next two years", Sri Govindan said.

As per union officials, only National Insurance is compelling intra-clerical grade promotes to take up marketing jobs, failing which they are made ineligible to aspire for the next step for two years. The officials said, “It is a double whammy. How can you expect a person who worked inside an office for nearly two decades to suddenly go out into the market and start all over again? By doing that, the company actually loses back office talent."

According to an official, the companies urged only those clerks who have been promoted to the officer cadre to head micro-offices. Now, that practice is being implemented at intra-clerical cadre promotion as well.

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