Government imposes curbs on new recruits

After a long battle with the Kerala Public Service Commission for extending the validity of the rank lists for appointments to government service and public sector undertakings, the State government is now grappling with a large number of applications from new recruits for long leave.

The Kerala Service Rules give an option to government employees to take leave without allowance soon after joining service. Government sources say it causes administrative inconvenience and affects the functioning of the departments and the public sector undertakings.

Now the State government has issued a fresh set of guidelines, under which non-permanent employees in regular service who have not completed probation in the entry cadre will be granted leave without allowance subject to the condition that they start their probation afresh and complete it on return from leave.

They will forfeit the service benefits that have accrued to them prior to their leave and will be deemed as new entrants to government service on return.

In other words, only the right of a government employee to rejoin service in the same cadre is protected.

Moreover, they will not be permitted to rejoin duty before the expiry of the sanctioned term of leave. The previous Left Democratic Front government brought in certain restrictions in April 2008 on sanctioning leave without allowance, making it mandatory for employees to complete their probation in the entry cadre. However, this was later relaxed, making it applicable only to those candidates who joined service after April 2008.

While the tendency is prevalent across the departments, the Health Department reported the highest such leave applications, followed by the Water Resources Department and the KSEB. In other words, the most leave applications come from departments which have professionally qualified employees, who get better offers from the private sector or in the Gulf.