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Axis Bank: New Policies for LGBTQIA+ Community, Same-Sex Couple Can Open Joint Accounts

Aligning with their ‘DilSeOpen’ initiative, Axis Bank released a new charter of policies to celebrate the third anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision on decriminalizing homosexuality. On September 6, 2018, the apex court gave a historic verdict on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and declared all relationships under the LGBTQIA+ valid in the eyes of the law. “History owes an apology to the LGBTQIA+ community for the delay in redressal for the ostracism that they have suffered. The members of this community were compelled to live a fearful life of reprisal and persecution,” Hon’ble Justice Indu Malhotra said while delivering the verdict.

To celebrate the anniversary of this decision, Axis Bank echoed the spirit of the decision and declared being in line with the bank’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) commitments to release the #ComeAsYouAre initiative.

Under the new policies, the bank aims to embrace the inclusion, diversity, and equity of all employees and customers under the shade of the organization. “At Axis, we aim to respect and realize the importance of varied life journeys and distinctive identities that extend beyond the paradigms of gender. Our focus is on diversity, inclusion, and equity. We believe that the policies will foster a culture of innovation and leverage the multiple talent pools that exist in our rich demography,” said Rajesh Dahiya, Executive Director, Axis Bank, in a press release.

The policies come in effect from September 20 and will apply across all branches and offices of the bank. Under the new set of practices, the bank employees can list their partners for Mediclaim benefits and dress according to their gender expression. The bank allows its employees to use the restroom in accordance with their gender identity, along with the installation of all-gender restrooms in their larger office spaces. The bank also revamped the redressal process for challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community in the workplace.

The bank’s customers will now be able to open a joint savings account or a term deposit with their same-sex partner, and the non-binary, gender fluid customers will have the option to add ‘Mx’ as a title in various documents.

These initiatives aim at developing an inclusive banking experience for its employees and customer base and will be applied all across the chain in a phased manner.

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