No more work from home for all govt staffers

Amid the pandemic, the government has directed all public servants to attend offices in full swing from next week, lifting restrictions on their attendance in person. 

All officials of some ministries and divisions are already attending office physically while others are taking preparations to do so following verbal directives from the cabinet division last week.

The government made the decision as workloads at the ministries and departments have increased manifold in recent times, several top government officials told The Daily Star yesterday.

Vulnerable, sick and pregnant employees, however, will not be required to be present at work, they said.

The cabinet division directed the ministries and other government offices to restore the usual work hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Assistant secretaries to senior secretary level officials will also have to come to work in person from next week, said officials at different ministries.

Regarding the third- and fourth-class employees, the division suggested that the chiefs of their units would decide on their attendance, they added.

As part of safety precautions against Covid-19, the government on June 1 had asked ministries and departments not to have more than 25 percent of their officials and employees at the offices. There was, however, no official order to this end.

Since then, around 75 percent of government employees have been working from home in shifts while 25 percent have been working in person by rotation, maintaining hygiene.

The government enforced a 66-day shutdown from March 26 across the country to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. It lifted the shutdown and reopened all government offices with reduced capacity and resumed public transport services under similar guidelines.

But as the private sector is working to adapt to the unprecedented situation, the government wants to use all its offices at full capacity, said officials.

"We got the verbal order for hundred percent attendance last week. But we have already started working in full-fledged fashion," Senior Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism Mohibul Haque told this newspaper.

Public Administration Secretary Sheikh Yusuf Harun said, "All our officials, except the sick and expectant mothers, have been asked to attend office from 9:00am to 5:00pm."

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