The government appears to be having second thoughts about throwing the rulebook at officials who are a little late to work, as long as they do their job well and don’t mind staying back if there is a deadline to meet.
The department of personnel & training (DoPT) had last year made it mandatory for central government offices in Delhi to implement the Aadhaar-based biometric attendance system from January 1, and in the rest of the country, by January 26.
In the same order, DoPT made it clear the rules allowed departmental heads to condone late-coming only twice a month.
On all subsequent occasions when the employee turns up at work after 9am, the department was required to deduct half a day’s casual leave (CL). And when CL was exhausted, start deducting from their earned leave.
But DoPT – the government’s human resource manager – hasn’t even started implementing this rule for its employees.
“Monitoring of attendance for the month of January is under process,” DoPT said last month in response to a right to information query, indicating it was in no hurry to crack the whip.
Asked about the delay in acting on its rule, a senior DoPT official told HT there was no reason to go around deducting leaves if the officials were in by a reasonable time, 9.30am, made up for the lost time and did a reasonable job through the day.
Inquiries in some other departments revealed they too were reluctant to act against employees unless there was a specific reminder from DoPT.
“It is unreasonable to expect everyone to be in office before 9 am and then, work well beyond office hours,” a government official said.
It also appeared to have played on the government’s mind that if it were to go strictly by the rules, it would end up deducting CL of nearly 70% of its staffers, leading to huge resentment.
BJP leaders had cited introduction of the biometric system and rumours that the Modi government could reduce the retirement age to 58 as two key reasons why central government employees were less than enthusiastic about supporting the party in the Delhi assembly polls.