Southern Railway cuts staff attendance to less than 50%

A majority of the employees have been asked to work from home

To minimise the spread of COVID-19, Southern Railway has decided to work with less than 50% of the staff at its zonal headquarters here.

With cases increasing and deaths occurring at railway hospitals, the General Manager authorised the heads of departments to operate with less than 50% of the staff and encourage the others to work from home, sources said on Friday.

A circular issued on Friday authorised the Divisional Railway Managers of Chennai, Madurai, Salem, Tiruchi, Palghat and Thiruvananthapuram to decide on staff attendance on the basis of local conditions.

The norm would apply to the workshops, too.

Last week, Southern Railway advised a minimum of 50% attendance. However, to check the the spread of the infection, it decided to bring the number further down, the sources said.

Asking all employees, particularly those aged 45 and above, to get vaccinated, the circular urged for compliance with the latest safety guidelines prescribed by the Department of Personnel and Training.

The Department’s advisory said the officers and staff members should follow staggered timings to avoid overcrowding at offices. Officials who did not report for duty would have to make themselves available on the phone and through other electronic means of communication at all times from their residence, or they should work from home.

It said persons with disabilities and pregnant women might be exempted from office attendance and allowed to work from home until further orders. The entry of visitors should be curtailed and biometric attendance would remain suspended, and paper attendance registers should be maintained.

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