Money & Banking

Unlock 4.0: Internal circular spooks RBI staff

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on September 06, 2020 Published on September 06, 2020

Guidance issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on the basis of an order issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) with respect to Unlock 4.0 and resumption of normal activities, appear to be giving contradicting signals to its employees.

Paragraph 7 of the MHA order titled ‘protection of vulnerable persons’ clearly advised that persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years may stay at home, except for essential and health purposes.

But a circular from the Human Resources Department of the Reserve Bank, self-admittedly building on the spirit of the same MHA order, appeared to sound to the contrary by directing even employees with co-morbidities to attend office. They would have to take leave if they are unable to come to office due to their condition.

Only pregnant lady staff has been allowed to work from home. According to sources in the Reserve Bank, the allegedly anomalous guidance to employees with co-morbidities defeats the purpose of the MHA directive.

The confusion arises from the reference to the MHA guidelines in the caption as also in paragraph 1 but instructions issued are to the contrary. This has left employees worrying about a potential health hazard to those with co-morbidities attending office, who are generally considered vulnerable to the Covid-19 virus.

Other directives

The Reserve Bank circular also directed Regional Offices/Central Office Departments to ensure compliance with national directives as detailed in a separate annexure of the MHA order. Four good quality triple-layer cloth masks (washable/reusable) should be provided to each employee who is required to come to office.

The Mumbai Regional Office of the Bank may make necessary arrangements for masks for such employees in Mumbai, based on indents to be placed by various Central Office Department. Nodal officers designated by Central Office Departments/Offices may be re-designated as ‘Vigilance Officer’ for the purpose.

Dedicated teams formed to oversee and monitor strict compliance of protocols and do’s and don’ts will also include security officers and caretakers to ensure that prescribed norms/ protocols are being adhered to by front-line staff like security guards (both at the office and residential quarters), maintenance workers and lift operators, among others.

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Published on September 06, 2020
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