Central govt staff can work from home during lockdown, but will have to follow these rules

Central govt staff can work from home during lockdown, but will have to follow these rules

MeitY order says decision to allow work from home aims to protect employees from contracting infection, but maintaining productivity is non-negotiable.

Representational image | Pexels

Representational image | Pexels

New Delhi: With a majority of central government ministries being ordered to work from home due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) has issued an elaborate set of protocols for the employees to follow.

The MeitY protocols have been extended to all central government ministries, sources said. This is the first time central government employees are being allowed to work from home.

While the ministry order says this measure has been taken to protect the employees and others from possible infection due to the coronavirus outbreak, it also stresses that maintaining productivity while working from home is non-negotiable.

Making it clear that employees should not treat work from home as ‘paid leave’, the MeitY order says, “Every working day, before 10 AM, each officer on work from home has to fix targets/specific work for their immediate subordinate to be achieved on the day which is to be sent through eoffice/email and strictly not by phone. Also, the recipient of this e-file/mail shall further allocate work to his/her subordinate which would facilitate the procedure ahead in a similar way so as to the correspondence shall be available on eoffice.”

Each employee is mandated to acknowledge to the reporting officer the receipt of work, using ‘eoffice network’ (virtual private network used by the ministry), that is to be received before 10.30 am, says the order, a copy of which has been accessed by ThePrint.

Similarly, every employee on work from home shall dispose of all the receipts and files in their eoffice before 5 pm each day, which is to be monitored by a daily report showing unattended receipts or files.

Availability over phone must for video call or remote meeting

The MeitY order says in case of any issue that needs consultation, officers can set up ‘remote meeting’ either through the phone or a WhatsApp video call. Notice for such remote meeting will “preferably” be communicated at least an hour in advance.

Also, it will be mandatory for everyone called for such a meeting to attend it. The order says every employee must be available for telephonic consultation during office hours, and the phone should be answered every time it rings.

The facility of work from home has been given to employees who can access the office from their respective homes with effect from 25 March 2020 until further orders.

Also, the MeitY order says these officials who still do not have the facility of remote access should immediately contact J.P. Gupta, Senior Technical Director, NIC Cell, MeitY.

However, if any work calls for employees to physically attend office, they can come for that specific work. In its order, MeitY has assured that the office will make suitable arrangements for conveyance.

Also read: For Modi, the 21-day shutdown is an unprecedented gamble