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Asso.prof.(commerce & Management)
J S Malhotra
Sr Manager (hr) In Power Sector Psu

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Institutions/Departments/PSUs/MNCs are regulating the absence of employees on account of mandatory quarantine period imposed by Administration on return from out station leave as per their convenience, in the absence of relevant provisions under the Leave Rules.
Under the Government / PSU Leave provisions, Quarantine leave is granted to an employee when the absence from duty is necessitated in consequence of the presence of certain infectious diseases, such as Cholera, small pox, plague, chicken pox etc in the family of the employee.
In the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the situation is entirely different. Employees are forced under quarantine (despite being found negative for COVID Test) for 14 days on return from outstation leave by the respective Administration. The question arises here, how to treat the period of 14 days quarantine imposed by the respective Administration. Should this be treated as i) Leave availed by the employees (by applying leave of the kind due); ii) official duty; iii) Work From Home; iv) Special paid leave (in the absence of provision under quarantine leave)?
Similarly, how the absence will be treated in case the employee is deputed on tour and on return has to be quarantine for 14 days as per the mandatory SOP?
How the Government Departments are regulating such quarantine period, could someone enlighten please?

From India, New Delhi
Hi JSM,
Learned members who have info on this followed in govts. may throw some light, as all of us wish to know the practices being followed.
May be some govt.leave rules contains one type of leave known as 'dies-non'. Under which this is 'extra-ordinary days', where no work could be carried out, but no-break-in-service for various reasons, but not reckoned for pension benefits. Any logic adopting this norms for quarantine period? Members can comment on this.

I have been reading reports, many treat this 'quarantined' period as a special paid CL and pay salary. Even I think this is logical & reasonable in the given situation.
In the SoPs issued from time to time many contained such a provision. However I didn't see info on any attempts by the govts. to bring in amendments or ordinance to amend provisions of relevant acts/rules. Amendments is highly warranted at this juncture to regulate these peculiar measures which had to be implemented w.r.t.to quarantine days. Incidentally how did you manage nation wide 'lock-down' in force during 24 March'20 till relaxation made in phased manner ?? Probably, you might consider same method shall be adopted for quarantine period also.

From India, Bangalore
Hi,

Thanks for your input. Lock-down due to COVID-19 is a very peculiar situation and no one ever has witnessed so far. Lock-down was imposed by Government where there was complete shut down similar to a situation like Curfew. Hence, the whole system was dysfunctional. Therefore, the lock-down period is/was to be treated 'On-Duty', despite no working from office. However, during lock-down period, staff was asked to work from home.

As regards paid Special CL as suggested by you for the forced quarantine, the question arises here is that if an employee goes on frequent leave, how many times the organisation will consider allowing him paid Special CL and where to restrict the total number of paid special CL.

Some way out is required to be needed under the prevailing situation which does not seem to be ending in the near future and absence is required to be regularised in a uniform and conscience manner with logical reasoning.

From India, New Delhi
I strongly feel GoI should come out with uniform amendments to all relevant acts/rules so that every entity all over the country are covered considering all permutations & combinations, total lock-down, state-wise/sector wise, localised, inter-state etc. which can be implemented uniformly every stream, govt, quasi govt & pvt.sector and avoid adhocracy and litigations, visualising & incorporating future contingencies. It's time to act.
From India, Bangalore
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