Mar 14:Private life insurance employees are dissatisfied over poor working conditions, lower basic salary and stress arising out of meeting monthly targets and other issues. They lament that with a basic salary of Rs 6000 per month and lack of incentives such as mobile and petrol allowance affect their motivation to work and quality of life leading to dissatisfaction in the profession.
Many of the employees are victimized for taking part in union activities, according to Sumesh Padman, General Secretary of New Generation Banks and Insurance Staff Association CITU (NGBISACITU) and Branch Manager of Birla Sun Life Insurance, Angamaly.
The NGBISACITU has called for an indefinite strike at Bajaj Allianz offices in Kerala from March 19 if the talks between the union and company officials to be held on March 16 before Deputy Labour Commissioner in Kochi fails to reach a solution on the issue. A Memorandum was also submitted to HDFC Life Insurance company and they have also been asked to appear for talks on March 15 before the Deputy Labour Commissioner, Sumesh Padman said.
The NGBISACITU had issued a memorandum to the Bajaj Allianz management 18 months back regarding the lower salary and other service conditions of the employees, but till date they have not responded to this notice, Sumesh Padman said. He alleged that labour laws have not been properly implemented in private insurance sector. Even the employer’s contribution to PF is made by the employees and CTC (Cost-to-Company) schedules prepared for employees were misleading as bonus was given to employees by reducing some other incentives offered in the contract.
The Union has appealed to the Union Labour Ministry to stipulate the minimum wages of private insurance employees to Rs 18,000 per month.
There are also anamolies in the incentives given for promotion of Unit Linked Insurance Policies (ULIP). Employees get no credit for promoting ULIPs. Advisors used to get 60% incentive for promoting ULIPS before 2010 and now it has been reduced to 7%. Whereas, the demand for ULIPs have increased due to bullish trend in equities but employees and advisors may opt to sell traditional policies that carry higher incentives.
Due to improper incentives, the insurance companies haven’t been able to penetrate even one fourth of their potential market. Moreover, lot of misspelling is taking place by assuring investors about doubling of money in 3 years as opposed to conventional bank deposits that may take upto 10 years to double the principal.
The NGBISACITU office bearers said that they are not against the IRDA approved life insurance companies but only against the wrong anti-labor policies adopted by them. He said that future prospects of the advisors, employees and insurance companies depended on the growth of new business and hence they were willing to co-operate to improve productivity and profitability of the ventures.