Center warns of strict action against its employees for lateness

All central government services have been asked to ensure that employees always register their attendance via AEBAS. (File image)

The Center has warned of strict action against its employees for lateness and said the concerned authorities should take habitual late attendance and early departure from office seriously.

The move comes after it emerged that several employees were not registering their attendance in an Aadhaar Enabled Biometric Attendance System (AEBAS) and “some employees were regularly arriving late”.

In an order, the Human Resources Ministry proposed the use of a mobile phone-based facial authentication system that also offers “live location sensing and geo-tagging” among other features.

The issue of strict implementation of AEBAS has recently been reviewed and taking into serious consideration the laxity in its implementation, it is “reiterated that all MDOs (Ministry/Department/Organization) shall regularly monitor the attendance reports,” the order said.

“Habitual lateness and early dismissal should be taken seriously and essentially discouraged. Strict action against defaulters can be initiated under existing rules,” the report said.

“This will ensure that there is no discrepancy between ‘registered’ and ‘active’ employees on AEBAS,” said the order issued to all central government secretaries.

All HODs of the MDOs have been asked to sensitize their employees to adhere to the instructions regarding office hours, late attendance, etc.

“They regularly downloaded the consolidated report from the portal ( and identified the defaulters,” the order said.

Citing existing rules, the Ministry of Human Resources said that “half a day of casual leave (CL) should be debited for each day of late attendance, but for late attendance up to one hour, not more than twice a month, and for justified reasons may be tolerated by the competent authority”.

Besides writing off Casual Leave (or Earned Leave, if CL is not available), disciplinary action may also be taken against government officials who habitually arrive late to office as this amounts to ‘misconduct’ under the conduct rules, the report said .

“Early departures should be treated the same as late arrivals. The data regarding punctuality and attendance of an employee should also be taken into account while considering him/her for important assignments, training, deputations and transfers/postings. ‘ was the order.

All government departments and ministries have been asked to ensure that the biometric machines remain functional at all times.

If an employee is not registered through AEBAS, immediate steps should be taken to register his/her biometric data on the portal, the portal said.

“In respect of Divyaang employees, MDOs shall make appropriate arrangements for provision of convenient and easily accessible machines for capturing biometrics through suitable alternative methods,” the June 15 order read.

The Human Resources Ministry in its decision also highlighted face-based authentication applications using Android/iOS-based phones rolled out by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

“The facial authentication offers robust features like faster authentication, live location detection, geo-tagging, etc. The nodal officer of the respective MDO will configure a personal mobile policy in the attendance portal for the employees of their organizations and the geo coordinates in the office entry locations” , the order said.

The Ministry of Human Resources said that it has “issued instructions from time to time for the observance of punctuality by government employees. The responsibility of ensuring punctuality to their employees lies with the concerned ministry/department/organization (MDO )”.

In this regard, instructions on implementation of AEBAS by the MDOs have also been issued from time to time, it added.

In its decision dated June 23, 2023, the Ministry of Human Resources had said that “all MDOs were advised, inter alia, to ensure strict implementation of AEBAS and periodically monitor attendance marking to ensure punctuality”.

It has now asked the Secretaries of the Ministries/Departments etc. to “kindly bring the contents of these instructions to the attention of their employees and put in place a robust monitoring mechanism to ensure full compliance by the employees and appropriate action action against the defaulting employees”.

(Only the headline and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

First print: June 16, 2024 | 11:02 PM IST