The central government relaxed the rules for its specially-abled and pregnant employees on Thursday, May 6 and said they don't need to come to the office, but "they shall continue to work from home".
Amid the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, various state governments have either imposed a complete lockdown or have limited the period of people moving out through partial restrictions.
Several private companies that had already given work from home during the first wave last year are still working with the same arrangement. Many companies have even extended the work from home period till as long as October 2021 amid the sudden rise in cases.
The central government has been running with 50 per cent attendance for Under Secretary and below levels, and 100 per cent attendance for all other officers until now. Although the offices were run with 50 per cent staff, no one was given work from home. This is the first instance where the central government has allowed employees to work from home.
According to India Today, all government offices will run with the same arrangement until May end to avoid overcrowding. All the secretaries of the ministries/departments would rotate the staff members at all levels.
Apart from specially-abled and pregnant employees, officers who reside in containment zones would also work from home "until the containment zone is identified".
"These officers and the staff residing in the containment zones shall work from home and shall be available on telephone and electronic means of communication, at all times," the order states.
The government order further read that all officials who would attend the office should strictly follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour such as wearing a mask, maintaining physical distancing, use of sanitiser and frequent handwashing with soap and water.