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Regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 July 2024

Government staff to work from home by rotation

Staggered office hours

TT Bureau New Delhi Published 19.03.20, 09:25 PM
A policeman wearing protective mask in the wake of coronavirus pandemic walks past a deserted Gateway of India on Thursday.

A policeman wearing protective mask in the wake of coronavirus pandemic walks past a deserted Gateway of India on Thursday. (PTI)

Hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation, his government on Thursday ordered work from home for half its middle and lower level staff on rotation for the next fortnight besides slightly staggered office hours.

Consequent to this decision, the bulk of central government staff except those in essential and emergency services and those directly involved in the control of Covid-19 will work from home over the next couple of weeks.

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According to an office memorandum issued by the department of personnel and training, heads of department have been asked to ensure that only 50 per cent of Group B and Group C employees attend office daily while the rest work from home till April 4.

The department heads have been told to draw up a weekly roster of duty and ask the Group B and C staff to attend office on alternate weeks. Those working from home will be on call and will have to attend office if needed.

For those attending office, work hours will be staggered in three batches — beginning at 9am, 9.30am and 10am, and ending at 5.30pm, 6pm and 6.30pm — to decongest the workspace and the commute.

Similar instructions are being issued to attached/subordinate offices of the central government, besides autonomous and statutory bodies across the country.

The departments of financial services and public enterprises have been asked to issue the same instructions to financial institutions, including public sector banks and insurance companies besides PSUs.

Group B officers, along with middle and junior levels of Group A, constitute the middle management. Group C staff perform supervisory and operative tasks and provide clerical assistance in ministries and field organisations.

Academics’ plea

A group of academics and activists across India, including RTI pioneer Aruna Roy and former Planning Commission member Syeda Hameed, have placed urgent demands before the states and the Centre in the context of the outbreak.

They have asked that banks show leniency to borrowers and that governments arrange for home delivery of food and intervene to ensure that casual workers get at least a fraction of their wages.

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