Central govt relaxes attendance norms

The Central government has revised the COVID-19 guidelines and allowed pregnant employees and those with disabilities to work from home

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Amidst the raging second wave of the pandemic, the attendance norms have been relaxed for government staff. Pregnant staff members and those with disabilities have been allowed to work from home. Those employees who reside in containment zones were anyway allowed to work from home till their areas denotified.

Till May 31, all Central government departments and other staff comprising under secretary and below-level employees will continue to work in a staggered arrangement. Biometric attendance will be suspended till further notice.

Those attending office will be required to strictly follow social distancing, wear masks at all times and wash hands frequently. No crowding will be allowed in common areas, such as corridors, lifts, parking areas, staircases, and so on.

Officers living in the containment zones will work from home but continue to be available on phone and all means of communication, till their areas are denotified and declared safe.

These measures are expected to keep the number of infections under control and decrease the burden on the healthcare system, which is already strained.

Earlier, in April, the Minsitry of Information and Broadcasting had issued a memorandum directing that the working hours for all staff members attending office should be staggered. It was suggested that the employees be asked to attend in three different slots — 9:00 am to 5:30 pm, 9:30 am to 6:00 pm and 10:00 am to 6: 30 pm.

India has been recording over 3 lakh cases daily for two weeks now. As per the Health Ministry data, the country’s case positivity rate has gone up to 22.68 per cent while recovery rate has slipped to 81.95 per cent.

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