COVID-19: No Action Against CEO If Factory Employee Tests Positive, Clarifies Govt

Guidelines Misinterpreted In Some Quarters, Says Union Home Secretary Bhalla

New Delhi: Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has written to chief secretaries of all states clarifying that there are no directives in the revised guidelines of the government which allows a state to take legal action against any company if an employee tests positive for COVID-19.

Bhalla reiterated that national directives for COVID-19 management have been specified in Annexure I of these guidelines, while in Annexure II, standard operating procedure (SOP) for social distancing and hygiene measures have been spelt out which have to be followed by offices, workplaces, factories and other establishments.

Bhalla has pointed out some apprehensions, based on wrong interpretation of the guidelines have been raised in the media and by some companies having manufacturing facilities.

Some of these are:

* States may take legal action, including imprisonment of CEO, in case a COVID-I9 positive  employee is found in the factory

* In such a situation, premises of the factory will be sealed for 3 months

* In case of non-compliance of precautionary measures, the factory may be closed down for 2 days and may be allowed to restart after full compliance.

“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,” Bhalla stressed.

He added that everyone concerned will have to follow the measures to ensure social distancing and follow standard health protocols as notified by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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