RBI orders senior officers to resume work from office

RBI orders senior officers to resume work from office

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has ordered all its senior officers in the so called Class 1 staff back to work as it restores normal working conditions for the first time since restrictions were imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Class 1 includes managers and above who are all expected to come to office starting January 18 as the central bank embarks on normalisation of activities, said two people familiar with the internal notice issued by the central bank.

“These officers normally work out of individual cabins which means they can follow all safety protocols and start coming to work. Junior staff like clerks, officers and other help like peons are still coming at 60% strength,” said one of the persons cited above.

The 2020 RBI annual report shows that the central bank’s total staff strength of 13,456 included 6670 Class 1 employees. About 2/3rds or 67% of these employees are designated as managers and above. All of them will now be expected to come to office.

The rest of the 1/3rd or 33% will continue to come at a reduced 60% strength, the person cited above said.

The other half of the RBI staff totalling 3786 includes Class 3 and Class 4 employees like clerks and office helps will continue to come to office at 60% strength. A RBI spokesperson did not reply to an email seeking comment.

“There is not clarity on when RBI will resume full strength but this is a step towards normalisation just like the RBI did with its liquidity measures a few days ago,” said the person cited above.

He was referring to the 14 day reverse repo auction announced by the RBI earlier this month in an attempt to lift overnight market rates.

Like all large organisations, the business continuity committee of the RBI set up multiple teams of trained personnel to operate the time-sensitive critical activities in response to Covid 19. Alternative work area sites were set up in mid March and back structures were set up in hot stand-by mode for moving in at short notice.

After critical business processes were secured, departments and branch offices were required to work-from-home with effect from March 18, 2020, with personnel in office premises whittled down to the barest minimum. The RBI has been hence working on a work from home basis before the government ordered a 21-day nation-wide lockdown on March 24, 2020.

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