New Govt Mandate: Reach Office on Time or Lose Half-Day Pay!

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In an effort to address the issue of employees arriving late to work, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) within the Indian government has instructed all employees, including senior officers, to arrive at the office no later than 9:15 am and mark their attendance using the biometric system.

A report states that staff members have been informed that if they fail to report to work on time, they will lose half a day of casual leave. The use of the biometric attendance system has been emphasized over the traditional register-based system.

The circular also states that if an employee is unable to attend the office on a particular day, they must inform their superiors in advance and apply for casual leave.

The DoPT has directed senior officers to monitor the attendance and punctuality of employees in their respective sections. While central government offices are open from 9 am to 5:30 pm, it is widely known that staff members often arrive late and leave early, even in departments that deal with the public, causing inconvenience.

Government officials, particularly senior officers, argue that they frequently work beyond their designated office hours. They claim that with the availability of office files through electronic means, they often find themselves working from home, including on holidays and weekends.

In 2014, shortly after assuming office, the Modi government implemented an Aadhaar-enabled biometric attendance system to enforce office timings. This system was temporarily paused during the Covid outbreak but was later resumed in February 2022.

The latest circular warns of potential action against government officials who habitually arrive late or leave early. The expectation is that this measure will lead to better efficiency in government functioning.

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