New Delhi: Even after the lockdown is lifted, central government employees may have to work with staggered attendance and variable working hours, the Personnel Ministry has come out with a draft framework for ‘work for home’ for the staff post-lockdown. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) may provide an option for work from home to the eligible officers/staff for 15 days in a year as a matter of policy, it said. Also Read - Complete Lockdown in Thane's Mumbra Area From Today; Milk, Medical Shops to be Open For 2 hrs

There are 48.34 lakh central government employees. Also Read - Indian-American Couple Develops Low-Cost Ventilator For Covid-19 Patients, Will Soon Be Available in India

In a communique to all central government departments, the Personnel Ministry said the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated many ministries to operate from home to maintain social distancing. Also Read - Coronavirus: State Govt Yet to Spend Financial Aid Given by Centre, Alleges Devendra Fadnavis

“Many of the ministries/departments in Government of India have successfully managed and rendered exemplary results in combat against the ongoing pandemic outbreak during the lockdown period by leveraging e-office and video conferencing facilities of National Informatics Centre. This was the first-of-its-kind experience in the Government of India,” it said.

It is quite likely that for the near future, the central secretariat will continue to go for staggered attendance and variable working hours to maintain social distancing at the workplace, the ministry said.

“Therefore, a broad framework for work from home is important to standardize the operating procedure even post the lockdown situation and to ensure safety and security of information, while accessing government files and information remotely from home,” it said.

Accordingly, a new set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been finalised for the employees to ensure smooth and seamless functioning of the government for continuity of the office works besides imparting resilience in the ecosystem even post the lockdown situations.

Here are the guidelines: 

> Employees will be provided with the logistic supports in the form of laptop/ desktop by the respective ministries/departments.

> Ministries may use the inventory of laptops on a rotational basis for the officers who are working from home and needed such logistic support.

>Staff may also get reimbursement for internet services that they would use while working from home.

> Department of Expenditure may consider reimbursement for data uses to the officers working from home and if required may issue separate guidelines in this regards

> Extra protocol for all VIP and Parliament matters that require utmost attention.

> SMS alerts to be sent for all such receipts and files to the next officer in the channel.

> Use the e-office module.

> No classified papers, files can be processed while working from home.

> Office work in office device only.

> Be available on the phone as per the requirements and directions of the officers.

Presently, about 75 ministries/departments are actively using the e-office platform of which 57 have achieved more than 80 per cent of their work. E-office refers to digitization/computerization of office working.

“All central government departments have been asked to send their comments by May 21, failure of which would be presumed that the ministry/department is in agreement with the proposed draft,” it stated.

(With PTI inputs)