In the wake of a current coronavirus pandemic, the Centre released new rules for central government employees on Monday, covering physical attendance, working hours, and much more. According to a statement released by the Personnel Ministry, all officers at the rank of Deputy Secretary, equivalent, and above must report to work on a daily basis. It stated that physical attendance of officers at the rank of Under Secretary or equivalent and below will be limited to 50% of the actual force. The statement stated that "Secretary/head of Department (HoD) may regulate the attendance of officials and may, on administrative grounds, direct more officials to attend office."
Employees with disabilities and pregnant women may be exempted from going to work, but they may have to work from home until further directives, according to the statement. The rules will take effect immediately and will stay in force until April 30, 2021, or prior to further directives, according to Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh. These were released in response to an alarming increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and to take steps to avoid its dissemination. To prevent overcrowding in the workplace, officers and employees will work in shifts from 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m., 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m., according to the Personnel Ministry. According to the statement "All officials who do not attend office on a particular day are to make themselves available on telephone and other electronic means of communication at all times from their residence and work from home."
All employees located in containment zones will be excluded from reporting to work until the containment zone is back to normal, according to the statement. It said that all officials who visit the office must adhere to COVID-19 guidelines, which include wearing a mask, maintaining physical distance, using sanitizer, and washing hands frequently with soap and water. The Personnel Ministry advised that crowding in lifts, walkways, corridors, open areas such as refreshment spots, and parking lots be avoided at all costs. It also stated that the meetings should be held by video conferencing, and outside visitors should be restricted accordingly. The statement further stated that "Proper cleaning and frequent sanitization of the workplace, particularly of the frequently touched surfaces may be ensured." Until further instructions, biometric attendance will be suspended and physical attendance records will be maintained, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, the government has made a push forward by providing 'monetary incentives' to All India Service (AIS) officers serving in the Union Territory of Ladakh who belong to the North East Cadres of All India Services. In a letter to all state secretaries, Devendra Kumar, Under Secretary to the Government of India, said that "it has now been decided to extend the provisions of additional monetary incentives to All India Service officers working in the UT of Ladakh, subject to ceiling and instructions issued in this regard from time to time."
AIS officers assigned in the UT of Ladakh will also get a special allowance and a special duty allowance, with an increase of 20% and 10% of their basic salary. The government had previously stated that the Dearness Allowance (DA) and Dearness Relief (DR) would be restored on July 1st. The DA for central government employees will be raised from 17 percent to 28 percent, with increases of 3%, 4%, and an estimated 4% DA hike starting January 1, 2021.