The Central government issued an order on Monday saying that the salaries of the contract workers associated with its offices will not be deducted if they were compelled to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
As a measure of social distancing and to contain the spread of the virus, many state governments have announced a lockdown in India. In the government offices, only officials who are required for delivering ‘essential services’ are reporting to work, according to a recent directive by the central government. Hence, most of the contractual staff has been asked not to come to office for work.
“There is a likelihood of a number of contractual, casual and outsourced staff such as housekeeping staff etc being required to stay at home, which under normal circumstances would result in deduction in their pay or wages,” the finance ministry said in an order to all the central government ministries and departments on Monday.
All such workers will be deemed to be “on duty” during “such period of absence and necessary pay or wages would be paid,” the order added. The order will remain in force till March 31, as most States have announced a lockdown till then, and will apply to all the subordinate and autonomous bodies under the central government
Earlier, the labour and employment ministry had issued an advisory to all private companies requesting them to follow a similar measure. That is, to treat their workers to be ‘on duty’ and not deduct their wages if they are compelled to sit at home due to the pandemic.