We frequently receive phone calls on existing provisions for government employees. So we decided to upload on our site the Office Memorandum No. 36035/3/2o9-Estt.(Res), dated the 31st of March, 2014 issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions under Government of India. This Office Memorandum contains most of the facilities the Central Government has provided to its disabled employees and their corresponding letter references. This Memo is available for download from the web site of Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
Obviously, the provisions mentioned in this Memorandum are not available to state government employees. State government employees are requested to contact their concerned departments of the state. In some states like Delhi the employees are granted mor or less the same facilities. But in most other states such amenities are not yet provided.
The Memorandum enumerates guidelines for providing certain facilities in respect of persons with disabilities who are already employed in Government for efficient performance of their duties. According to this Memorandum, all employees working in the Ministries/Departments of the Government of India, their attached and subordinate offices, Central Public Sector Enterprises, Cantonment Boards etc. are eligible for these facilities.
Provisions for Skill Development
Let us study the facilities in brief. First, it provides for identification of jobs. Although hardly materialised so far, this is an old demand of all activists and let us hope, real jobs would be identified in most of the departments. This is particularly essential for the visually challenged employees. They need some extra arrangements at their workplaces.
It also provides for induction training of disabled employees to help them discharge their duties efficiently. In addition, the Memo has provided for providing to them assistive devices (including low vision aids, hearing aids with battery), special furniture, wheel chairs software scanners, computer and other hardware, etc.
We wonder, why the authorities are not taking into account the possibility of modification of jobs. Our system is accustomed to written documents. Although a lot of correspondences goes on electronically now, we are still used to keeping a printout of the email in the file. As long as we shall continue using these printed documents, the visually challenged employees will face problem in accessing these documents. scanners with good OCR software programmes are good options for the visually challenged employees, but still they can be dispensed with if we can switdch over to paperless office.
Accessibility Provisions for Disabled Government Employees
Accessibility and barrier-free environment is necessary for both blind and orthopedically handicapped employees at work place. We have already seen some efforts on the part of the government for putting up Braille signs and audio signals in the elevators.
The estate managers of the departments have been asked to ensure priority to disabled employees in allotment of accommodation, preferably near their offices and at the ground-floors. They are also advised to explore possibility for removing physical inconveniences in these accommodations.
Essential Rights of Disabled Government Employees
A grievance redressal mechanism has been proposed to redress the grievances of persons with disabilities within a reasonable time frame. A liaison officer is to be nominated who is expected to look into such matters.
All disabled employees under the Central Government can enjoy Special Casual Leave for 4 days in a calendar year for specific requirements relating to disabilities of the official concerned. They are further entitled to 10 days Special Casual Leave in a calendar year for participating in conference / seminars / Trainings / Workshop related to disability and development to be specified by Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
Transfer and posting is a serious issue in the life of a government employee. And it is even more serious for disabled employees. It is worthwhile quoting straight from the Memo,
As far as possible, the persons with disabilities may be exempted from the rotational transfer policy/transfer and be allowed to continue in the same job, where they would have achieved the desired performance. Further, preference in place of posting at the time of transfer/promotion may be given to the persons with disability subject to the administrative constraints.
The practice of considering choice of place of posting in case of persons with disabilities may be continued. To the extent feasible, they may be retained in the same job, where their services could be optimally utilised.
Please use the original Office Memorandum for using any of these facilities. If you come across any other facility, exclusively made for disabled government employees, please let us know. Send your comments and suggestions using the Comment form below.
Also note that there is no provision for relaxation in attendance. Do not pay attention to any such rumour. Disabled employees are expected to attend office in time. The only relaxation they can enjoy is the benefit of Special Casual Leave for extra four days.
When this Office Memorandum was issued, The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 was yet to be put into effect. We hope, these facilities or amenities will be reviewed in terms of the new Act.
The other important issue we have to face is Income Tax provisions for disabled government employees. We have discussed it on our page on Income Tax Facilities for the Disabled Persons.