Central Government Staff can avail work from home option for 15 days in a year. As this method has been found successful during Lockdown period, Government is contemplating to adopt this work from Home option in future also
During lockdown period, 50 to 70 % Employees were detailed to work from home as measure to maintain social distancing in office premises in order to avoid spreading of COVID -19.
Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances has prepared a draft consultation paper in the subject of Framework for “Work from Home” [OM.No 30011/12/2015-0&M (C N: 6452) dated 13th May, 2020] for providing the Work from Home option to central Government Staff for 15 days in a year post COVID 19 Pandemic also.
The following is the DARPG directions to all Ministries / Departments
” The COVID 19 Pandemic has necessitated many Ministries/ Departments to operate from Home to maintain social distancing. 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 lock down period by leveraging e -office and video conferencing facilities of NIC. This was the first of its kind of experience in the Government of India.
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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 workplace. Therefore, a broad framework for Work from Home is important to standardize the operating procedure even post Lock down situation and to ensure safety and security of information, while accessing Government files and information remotely from home.
Accordingly a draft consultation paper for the Work from Home is being enclosed at Annexure for comments. We shall be grateful for considered views and comments of your Ministry /Department on the proposal latest by 21st May 2020. If comments are not received by 21st May 2020, then, it will be presumed that your Ministry/Department is in agreement with the proposed draft”
Some Proposals in the Draft Framework for Work from Home
The COVID 19 Pandemic has necessitated many Ministries/ departments to operate from Home to maintain social distancing. The backbone of this remote operation is e -office and virtual meetings through video Conferencing. 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 workplace.
Therefore, a standard framework for Work from Home” across the Ministries/ Departments/ Subordinate offices in Government of India is needed for a smooth and seamless functioning of the government, which will ensure continuity of the office works besides imparting resilience in the ecosystem even post lock down situations. In this regard several rounds of consultations were held with the ministries/ Departments.Based on their inputs, broad framework for The Work from Home, which will be in place during and after lock down, is being proposed here as under:
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Presently about 75 Ministries/ Departments are actively using e – office platform of which 57 Ministries / Departments have achieved more than 80% of their work in e- office. The remaining Ministries/ Departments would also make endeavour for expeditious implementation of e-office in secretariat/Ministries/Departments and also in their attached and subordinate offices in a time bound manner.
Logistic supports in the form of laptop/ Desktop, shall be decided by the Ministries/ Departments in accordance with the orders issued by the Department of Expenditure 3(6 )/2020-E- II(A) dated 27.03.2020. Ministries may use the inventory of laptops on rotational basis for the officers who are working from home and needed such logistic support.
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.
NIC video conferencing facility shall be leveraged to organize important meetings while working from home. Officers and Staff shall attend the meetings by activating VC link forwarded to them by NIC in formal meeting set up. VCs shall also be used as far as possible in office environment to maintain social distancing during COVID 19 pandemic. NIC may strengthen the VC to make it more facilitative. Officials working from home shall adhere to all norms of office environment while attending VC meetings
The officers to whom official laptops are provided shall ensure that they do the official work in official device only. NIC shall ensure that their devices are well protected against malware and malicious websites. The officers who are working on their personal computers/ lap tops shall ensure installing regular updates, running antivirus scans, blocking malicious sites, etc with the help of NIC to ensure safety of their device against information theft.
Officers who are working from home shall be available on phone as per requirements and directions of their officers.
DOPT may provide option for Work from Home to the eligible officers/Staff for 15 days in a year as a matter of policy