AIB is to provide full pay to staff whose partners are healthcare workers during the Covid-19 crisis, once they have dependants.
The move means affected employees of the bank will be able to step away from their day jobs to mind children or others who need care, allowing their partners to attend work during what is a critical period for the health service.
The decision, which was first proposed by staff at the bank, comes as the number of coronavirus cases rose to 169 on Sunday and amid expectations of a big increase in cases in the coming weeks.
Details of the decision were disclosed in an email sent to employees by AIB’s chief people officer Geraldine Casey, which outlined steps taken by the bank in the wake of the crisis.
“Following feedback from our colleagues, we have decided to provide full pay to any of our staff with dependants, whose partner is a healthcare worker in the public service. This will allow these important healthcare workers to attend work and help our country through these extraordinary times,” said Ms Casey.
Like many other organisations, AIB, which employs about 9,500 people, has asked as many staff as possible to work remotely. For employees in customer-facing roles at its network of branches across the Republic, it has issued guidelines on how to keep physical contact to a minimum.
Late last week, the bank reversed a decision to impose charges on contactless card transactions from the end of May after coming under pressure to help reduce cash transactions to fight Covid-19. Many customer-facing businesses have been actively encouraging consumers to pay via contactless methods with some refusing cash payments.
The majority State-owned bank had been planning to charge a one cent charge per contactless transaction until Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe announced he was to raise the issue with AIB. The bank subsequently said it was “suspending” the move.