The software services body National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) got a long awaited nod from the Department of Telecommunications to allow work from home for employees of business process management (BPM) firms until April 30.
On Friday, the DoT said, “The requirement of authorised Service Providers provisioned secures VPN is exempted. During this period, the OSPs (other service providers) are permitted to use Secured VPN configured using “Static IP” address by themselves for interconnection between home agent position and OSP Centre with pre-defined locations.”
The issue dates back to a clause in the earlier telecom policy under which certain kinds of work (such as voice calls) cannot be shifted to employees’ home premises. However, given the advent of technology, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had suggested spin away with the clause to allow work from home for BPO employees.
As a precautionary measure to contain the spread of COVID-19 and ensure business continuity, Nasscom had asked the DoT to relax restrictions around work from home for IT/ITeS employees, guided by the OSP regime, for a period of one month.
“We wholeheartedly welcome the supportive nod received from the DoT today. We will encourage our member companies to adhere to the amended clauses and prioritize their implementation.
Companies should encourage employees to leverage telepresence and video conferencing to enable seamless engagement. While ensuring that there is minimal disruption to business, we also recognize that the health and safety of employees is of paramount concern. Therefore, our two-fold objective is to ensure employee well-being while hedging negative impact on the industry’s overall productivity,” said Keshav Murugesh, chairman are Nasscom and group CEO at business process management firm WNS.
On Thursday, the Software Technology Parks of India said employees of IT and BPO companies under the body will be allowed to work from home as per rules prescribed by the Handbook of Procedure of the Foreign Trade Protocol.
The number of employees impacted by the provision is as high as 1.8-2 million.