All public-sector entities must have a work-from-home arrangement in place by Thursday (March 4).
This was announced by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, at a virtual press conference on Sunday (February 28).
He said there is now “a hard work-from-home rule” for all ministries, departments and agencies, which will be in place for the next three weeks.
This is one of several measures under the Disaster Risk Management Act that have been strengthened in light of the recent spike of positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country.
The Prime Minister noted that Permanent Secretaries are directed to only have persons coming in who work in critical areas of service delivery and where the nature of the work performed requires that the job functions be performed at the physical office location.
“This means that the Permanent Secretaries and the other executives of agencies and departments will be looking at their business processes [to determine] what is mission critical, and what can only be done in a physical sense, in presence at work, and those persons will be permitted to come to work. Everyone else must work from home from the 4th to the 22nd [of March] or until we give other such directions,” he said.
Mr. Holness is also encouraging the private sector to put work-from-home arrangements in place for their staff.
“We are not placing a hard-and-fast rule on the private sector, but we are expecting that they will follow suit and make the arrangements to allow their staff to work from home where it is possible and convenient,” he said.
The Prime Minister noted that the option remains for employees to request to work from home in circumstances where they have an underlying illness or care for a child or have a family member who is elderly or has a disability.
“That rule applies both for the public sector and the private sector,” he said.