If the staff tests positive of COVID-19, the CEO-s should not be punished: Government

Team SoOLEGAL 24 Apr 2020 3:12pm

If the staff tests positive of COVID-19, the CEO-s should not be punished: Government

New Delhi: Dismissing concerns of legal action against manufacturing facilities, including imprisonment of the CEO or immediate sealing of the factory if the employee tests positive for Covid-19 on the premises during the lockdown, the Center on Thursday clarified that there is no such provision in the consolidated revised guidelines of 15 April and that such apprehensions are 'misplaced.'

Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla, in a letter to all the states and union territories, has asked them to appraise industrial establishments of the lockdown guidelines and not misuse them to threaten the management of manufacturing or commercial establishments.

Ajay Bhalla quoted ““Some apprehensions, based on wrong interpretation of the guidelines, have been raised in the media and by some companies having manufacturing facilities,”.

He argued that the concerns threatened punitive action such as imprisoning the CEO and sealing the facility for three months if any employee was found to be Covid-19-positive, or sealing the factory for two days if precautionary steps had not been taken.

“I would like to clarify that there is no such clause in the consolidated revised guidelines and therefore there is no basis for such misplaced apprehensions,” The home secretary, Ajay Bhalla said.

Bhalla also mentioned that “Covid-19 being a highly infectious epidemic, it is important that all workplaces take measures to ensure social distancing and follow standard health protocols as notified by the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW). Accordingly, appropriate safeguards at workplace have been prescribed in the national directives and SOPs ... The workplaces and industrial and commercial establishments are required to follow these guidelines”

The letter also clarified that the activities approved under the consolidated revised guidelines of 15 April included all activities authorized under the guidelines of 24 March (and as further amended), except in containment zones.

“Hence, it is clarified that the consolidated revised guidelines of April 15 do not curtail the exemptions already provided earlier, unless the exempted activity falls within a containment zone,” The home secretary said.

It was also clarified that, subject to compliance with the SOPs on social distancing, no new license or legislative approval is needed for the resumption of approved activities during the lock-down period.

Tagged: staff   COVID-19   CEO   Government   employee tests positive   Ajay Bhalla   home secretary   ministry of health   Workplace  
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