The coronavirus lockdown has been extended in India until 31 May with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a fresh set of guidelines, allowing for more relaxations for businesses and individuals. The fresh set of guidelines are aimed at completely opening up the economy with the operation of all markets, offices, industries, and business along with plying of buses in all zones, barring containment zones.
And when it comes to offices, the government wants far as possible. In addition, employers on the best effort basis should ensure that Arogya Setu is installed by all employees having compatible mobile phones.
Here is a quick look at the guidelines issued specifically for workplaces to operate until 31 May.
1) As far as possible, the practice of work from home should be followed
2) Staggering of work/business hours shall be followed in offices, workplaces, shops, markets, and industrial and commercial establishments
3) Provision for thermal scanning, hand wash, and sanitizer will be made at all entry and exit points and common areas
4) With a view to ensuring safety in offices and workplaces, employers on best effort basis should ensure that Arogya Setu is installed by all employees having compatible mobile phones, said MHA. Frequent sanitization of entire workplace, common facilities, and all points which come into human contact, like door handles, shall be ensured, including between shifts
6) All persons in charge of workplaces shall ensure social distancing through adequate distance between workers, adequate gaps between shifts, staggering the lunch breaks of staff etc.
7) District authorities have been asked to advise individuals to install the Aarogya Setu application on compatible mobile phones & regularly update their health status on the app. This will facilitate timely provision of medical attention to those individuals who are at risk.
While business travel will still remain out of bounds mostly as domestic and international flights and metro rail will remain out of bounds for the general public, however crucially, the government has allowed inter-state movement of buses and private vehicles with the consent of the involved states, thus easing up public transportation a notch up. However, it remains clear that offices would be better off sticking to WFH for the coming month, which has been the general trend globally as well. Last week, many organizations such as Goggle, Microsoft, and Twitter have extended their work from home policies, allowing employees to work from home until the end of 2020.