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NASSCOM advises IT cos to open up in phases; secures work from home extension

In line with the central ministry of home affairs (MHA) advisory, the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) has asked member organisations to restart operations from offices in a phased manner.

The nationwide Covid-19 lockdown has been extended till May 3, with relaxations provided for some sectors.

While the Ministry of Home Affairs has permitted information technology (IT) and information technology enabled services (ITeS) companies to function with 50% staff strength from April 20, the industry lobby body has recommended that the lockdown exit strategy be implemented across 15-day cycles.

In phase one, set to begin from April 15 till April 30, companies must allow only 10-15% of their workforce to travel to office, NASSCOM said on its website.

Depending on the success of phase 1, the second phase may be initiated for 20-30% of the workforce between May 1 and May 15, it said. Additionally, for areas that were impacted in the first phase, but are clear in this period, 15-30% of the workforce can be allowed to return to work, it said.

In the third phase, from May 15 to May 30, companies can allow 30-50% of employees to work from offices, NASSCOM recommended.

“The percentage of employees per centre will follow this cap and (it) will only be applicable for areas that are in the safe zone. In case there is critical infrastructure like data centres in some red zones, it is requested that a suitable process with all precautions be announced for only mission-critical employees to operate this critical infrastructure,” it said.

Additionally, NASSCOM also secured permission from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to allow IT and ITeS companies to permit their employees to work from home till May 31.

“A step in the right direction by @DoT_India. Allowing both static & dynamic IP for #VPNs by #OSPs for #WFH was much-needed by the IT-ITES industry and its people to carry on a strong #BCP (business continuity plan) in India,” the industry body said in a tweet.

Most IT companies have received customer permissions to enable almost three-fourths of their employees to work from home. The phased population of offices may involve a third of the total employees alternating between office and remote work for a few days.

Companies said that even when they allow employees to return to offices, measures such as social distancing, sanitisation of workspaces, and health and temperature checks will be implemented.

―Tech Circle

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