Covid-19: Work from home, staggered working hours for central government employees

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NEW DELHI: Initiating measures to decongest workspaces to prevent the further spread of Covid-19, the government has asked all Central ministries and departments to require only 50% of their Group B and C (non-gazetted) employees to attend office on any given day over the next fortnight.
It has advised the heads of all departments to prepare a roster that will require such employees to be in office only on alternate weeks.
The instructions will be effective immediately and remain valid till April 4, 2020.
The department of personnel and training (DoPT), in an office memorandum issued on Wednesday, asked Central government employees attending office on a particular day to be segregated into three different attendance slots: 9 am to 5.30 pm, 9.30 am to 6 pm and 10 am to 6.30 pm.
“Heads of department (HoDs) may ensure that 50 per cent of Group B and C employees are required to attend office every day, and the remaining 50 per cent staff should be instructed to work from home. All HoDs are advised to draft a weekly roster of duty for Group B and C staff and ask them to attend office on alternate weeks. While deciding the roster for ‘the first week, HoDs are advised to include officials who are residing in close proximity to their office or use their own transport to travel to the offices,” the DoPT note states.
DoPT has asked officials working from home on a particular day, as per the roster drawn up, to be available on telephone and electronic means of communication at all times.
“They should attend office, if called for any exigency of work,” it said.
The memorandum asked similar instructions to be given to attached/subordinate offices and autonomous/statutory bodies. The department of financial services (DFS) and department of public enterprises (DPE) have been told to issue a similar advisory regarding financial institutions and public sector undertakings.
The instructions for curtailing working staff strength and hours in office shall not apply to the offices and employees engaged in essential/emergency services and those directly engaged in taking measures to control spread of Covid-19.

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