MHA clarifies that no CEO will be penalised if employee tests positive

The clarification was issued following concerns that the guidelines can be misunderstood and misused.

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According to a notification from the Ministry of Home Affairs, it has been clarified that no chief executive officer (CEO) will be penalised if any of the employees test positive for the coronavirus at manufacturing and commercial establishments that have started functioning in the second phase of the lockdown.

The Ministry has further stated that there is no clause in the guidelines that implies that factory premises will be sealed or CEOs will be imprisoned if any of the employees contract COVID-19. Therefore, the guidelines should not be misused to make trouble for the management.

Certain industrial and agricultural activities have been allowed in specific areas post April 20. However, everyone has been instructed to maintain social distancing and hygiene rules, and strictly adhere to standard health protocols as per the notification of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

In areas that do not fall under the containment zones, no separate or fresh permissions are needed from the authorities, if they have already been provided permission before April 15.

Industry chambers, such as the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), have emphasised that within the red zones, the hot spots and containment zones need to be clearly demarcated.

As per the CII, the clarification that employers/companies will not have to face any legal action if any of their employees test positive, was necessary and will give the much-required confidence.

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