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Persons with disabilities also given similar exemption
New Delhi, May 21, 2020
The Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) has exempted pregnant women officials and staff members from attending office in view of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.
This was disclosed here on Wednesday by Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Jitendra Singh.
He said a circular to this effect has been issued and is expected to be followed by different Ministries and Departments as well as State and Union Territory governments.
Jitendra Singh said pregnant women employees who are not already on maternity leave will also be exempted from attending office. Persons with disabilities are also to be given similar exemption from attending office, he said.
The latest circular issued by the DoPT also states that Government servants who have underlying co-morbidities and were undergoing treatment for these ailments before the lockdown, may, as far as possible, be exempted, upon production of medical prescription from treating physician as per the CGHS/CS (MA) Rules, as applicable.
What is important is to strictly observe staggered timings for the arrival and departure of the officers and the staff. In order to avoid unnecessary crowding, all the Heads of Departments have been advised to ensure three sets of timings. These would be 9 AM to 5 PM, 9:30 AM to 6 PM and 10 AM to 6:30 PM, respectively, the Minister said.
While officers of the level of Deputy Secretary and above are expected to attend office on all working days, the officers and staff below the level of Deputy Secretary will attend office with 50% attendance every alternative day and those not attending the office should work from home and remain available on telephone and electronically.
Jitendra Singh appreciated the staff in the Ministry of Personnel for having continued to work with full commitment during the entire phase of lockdown. In fact, he said, some of the staff members were working from home even during the weekends which normally does not happen when the offices are closed.
Every care has been taken to ensure that while offices continue to function, at the same time, the welfare and safety of officials is not overlooked, he added.