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IT employees in Pune seek permission to continue working from home

The IT Park in Hinjewadi wears a deserted look after staffers started working from home last month.

The IT Park in Hinjewadi wears a deserted look after staffers started working from home last month.   | Photo Credit: Jignesh Mistry

Forum opposes guidelines to let 50% staff return to office

The Pune chapter of the Forum for IT Employees (FITE) has opposed the Central government’s guidelines permitting 50% of the workforce in IT companies to return to their workplaces from April 20, saying that this posed a huge risk to employees given that Pune is a COVID-19 hotspot.

In a letter to District Guardian Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram, the FITE has urged the authorities to reconsider the Centre’s guidelines with respect to Pune and permit IT employees in the city to work from home till the time the lockdown is called off.

“Most IT employees typically live in apartments in societies which accommodate more than 1,000 families. Those living in the areas still relatively unscathed by the novel coronavirus have to factor in the reactions of their fellow society members. With the number of cases increasing in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, there is an understandable paranoia running through society committees regarding any person stepping outside and returning home after a long time,” Pavanjit Mane of the FITE’s Pune chapter said.

He said even if the guidelines exempted IT employees who had children, there was the question of those who shared their flat with colleagues.

“In that case, if one of them travels to work, then he or she endangers the health of their room-mates. Furthermore, if the driver of the company shuttles happen to live in a highly-infected zone, he could pose a risk as nearly half of Pune and areas of Pimpri-Chinchwad have been classed as COVID-19 sensitive zones,” Mr. Mane said.

He said if someone were to contract the virus, it would pose a huge challenge to quarantine that person’s contacts given the number of shared spaces in a major IT company.

“Furthermore, the fact that large IT firms have more than 10,000 employees, even if half of them were asked to report to work, it would have an impact on social distancing. As IT employees are the only workforce with the wherewithal to work from home, we request the State government, the Guardian Minister and the District Collector to reconsider the Centre’s directives regarding IT firms,” reads the letter.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 6:03:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/it-employees-in-pune-seek-permission-to-continue-working-from-home/article31360770.ece

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