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Pune Municipal Corporation allows differently abled staff to work from home

The Maharashtra government had recently directed all the government offices to exempt the differently-abled staff from attending the office, stating their "immunity is not as good as that of a normal person".

Citing the health risk to differently abled persons during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to exempt such staff from attending office and allowed them to work from home. However, such staff is required to not leave the civic jurisdiction and should be able to report to the office whenever they are called.

The Maharashtra government, while citing their immunity, had recently directed all the government offices to exempt the differently-abled staff from attending office.  Thus, it is “not easy for the differently-abled staff to work in difficult situations of pandemic”, the government had said, adding that they should be given the option to work from home.

“The PMC is exempting the differently abled civic staff from attending office. The concerned head of the civic department should hand over specific work to them which can be carried by working from home. Also, the administration should ensure that this exemption does not hamper the office work,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Rubal Agarwal.

Agarwal said the differently abled staff shall provide their mobile phone and e-mail address to their respective office in-charge so that the important and emergency work could be done. The staff shall be available on their mobile phone, she added.

Moreover, such staff shall not leave the civic jurisdiction during work from home, Agarwal said. “It would be mandatory for them to report to the office whenever called by their in-charge officer as per requirement,” she said.

Fifty-plus teachers’ plea

Meanwhile, teachers of civic schools who are more than 50 years of age have urged the administration to exempt them from Covid-related duties. The civic administration has been engaging the civic school teachers in door-to-door surveys, administrative work at covid care centres, vaccination centres, war rooms, and civic ward offices.

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The PMC has also been hiring staff on a contract basis to carry out administrative work related to Covid in the city. The municipal body has lost around 50 staff due to Covid-19 since the outbreak. It had made the civic staff who are included as frontline workers get vaccinated after not receiving a good response to the drive.

The PMC has informed that those not getting vaccinated will not be given the benefit of medical insurance if they are hospitalised for Covid treatment.

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