Written by Zulfick Farzan
30 Oct, 2020 | 3:24 pm
Colombo (News 1st); Sri Lankan authorities have asked state employees to resume working from home in major townships as coronavirus infections continue to surge.
The president’s office says government offices in Western province, where the recent outbreaks have been concentrated, have been asked to switch to remote work as well.
Sri Lanka lifted work-from-home measures when community infections subsided.
The circular to recommence the World from Home program was directed to the Secretaries of all Ministries, State Ministries, Chief Secretaries of Provinces, District Secretaries, Heads of Departments as well as Chairpersons and General Managers of State Corporations and other state bodies.
Heads of Institutions are entrusted with the authority to determine the type of work that can be performed remotely and the employees who will work from home.
They should devise a mechanism to deliver work material such as files as well as the necessary equipment to homes of employees with proper authorization.
The availability of employees for WFH needs to be between 8.30 am and 4.15 pm.
This can be made flexible by Heads of Institutions depending on the work/service requirement unless curfew is declared.
Heads of Institutions have the authority to re-assign the employees who are not on WFH plans to institutions or Task Forces that require additional human resources.
Under the said circular, heads are advised to use alternative communication methods in order to ensure the effective and successful implementation of the WFH mechanism.
SMS, e-mail, telephone, user-friendly web applications such as WhatsApp and Skype can be used for this purpose.
Chief Accounting Officers and Accounting Officers are entrusted with the responsibility of providing required financial allocations.
According to the circular issued by the Secretary to the President every institution that delivers services directly to the general public is required to create an online platform to entertain public requests without delay.
Heads of Institutions have the authority to request employees on self-isolation to work from home.
Nevertheless, no work should be carried out by an employee who has Coronavirus symptoms, however mild.
The circular includes specific guidelines to sectors such as regional administration, education, and higher education, provision of welfare services, statutory bodies and public enterprises, and general administration.
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