COVID-19: physical attendance of staff at Central Govt. offices to be curtailed

New Delhi, April 20, 2021

Physical attendance of the officers of the level of Under Secretary or equivalent and below should be restricted to 50% of the actual strength, given the unprecedented rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) has said.

As part of the measures to prevent the pandemic spread, the DoPT issued instructions in this regard on Monday. The Secretary or Head of the Department could regulate the attendance of officials. They could, on administrative grounds, also direct more staff members to attend office. A roster has to be prepared for this purpose, an official press release said.

All officers of the level of Deputy Secretary, equivalent and above should attend office regularly.

These instructions/guidelines are to be strictly complied with by the Ministries/Departments of the Central government. It will remain in force until April 30 or further orders, whichever is earlier, Union Minister of State for Personnel Dr Jitendra Singh said quoting from the Official Memorandum(OM) issued on Monday.

The officers/staff should follow staggered timings, to avoid overcrowding in offices. The duty timings will be 9.00 A.M. to 5.30. P.M.; 9.30 AM to 6.00 PM; 10.00 A.M. to 6.30 P.M.

All officials who do not attend office on a particular day should be available on the telephone and other electronic means of communication at all times from their residence and work from home. All officials residing in containment zones would continue to be exempted from coming to office till the containment zone is denotified.

The persons with disabilities and pregnant women employees would be exempted from attending office, but continue to work from home, until further orders.

All officials who attend office shall strictly follow COVID-appropriate behaviour including wearing of mask, physical distancing, use of sanitiser and frequent handwashing with soap and water.

Crowding in lifts, staircases, corridors, common areas including refreshment kiosk and parking areas is to be strictly avoided. The meetings, as far as possible, should be conducted through video-conferencing and the entry of outsiders and visitors be curtailed.

In compliance with the Office Memorandum dated April 6, 2021, all the eligible employees of the age of 45 years and above are advised to get themselves vaccinated, the release said.

Proper cleaning and frequent sanitization of the workplace, particularly of the frequently touched surfaces, have to be ensured.

All Ministries/ Departments Offices as well as the Central Government employees are to ensure strict compliance of instructions on Covid-appropriate behaviour issued by the Ministries of Home, Health and Department of Personnel from time to time. Biometric attendance shall continue to be suspended and physical attendance registers to be maintained until further orders.

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