India, May 7: The central government has exempted persons with disabilities and pregnant women employees from attending office, but “they shall continue to work from home“. In a revised circular, the Central Government on Thursday relaxed the attendance rules for its employees in view of the Covid emergency in India which has overwhelmed hospitals, causing a severe shortage of resources like oxygen.
According to the revised rules, all the secretaries of the ministries/departments are mandated to regulate the attendance of their employees, at all levels, keeping in view the Covid positive cases in the office and the functional requirements.
All central government departments will continue with staggered office hours and 50 per cent attendance of Under Secretary and below level employees till the end of this month to avoid over-crowding at their workplaces. The rules will continue till the end of this month, i.e., May 31.
Officials in the containment zones are allowed to work from home “till the containment zone is denotified“. “These officers and the staff residing in the containment zones shall work from home and shall be available on telephone and electronic means of communication, at all times,” the order states.
All officials who attend office shall strictly follow Covid-19-appropriate behaviour including wearing a mask, physical distancing, use of sanitiser and frequent handwashing with soap and water, the order said. “Crowding in lifts, staircases, corridors, common areas, including refreshment kiosks and parking areas are to be strictly avoided,” the order said.
“Biometric attendance shall continue to be suspended until further orders,” the order said.