With Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation on the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, the ministry of corporate affairs too has rolled out an advisory for chairpersons, MD and CEOs of companies urging them to contribute to stopping the coronavirus pandemic from spreading any further among the community. To begin with, a Company Affirmation of Readiness (CAR) towards COVID-19 form will be available from Monday, March 23 and needs to be filled by the authorised signatory of the company.
The ministry of corporate affairs has deployed the web form for Company Affirmation of Readiness to confirm that companies or limited liability partners (LLP) are ready to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. With this, the companies and LLP will have to report their compliance with all the guidelines issued by the public health authorities to minimise the exposure of their employees.
“Since companies/ limited liability partnerships are major employers, especially in urban areas, their full participation and corporation is most essential to fully realise the object of social distancing as a means to contain the spread, morbidity, and mortality due to disease,” Injeti Srinivas, secretary at the ministry of corporate affairs.
Besides the Company Affirmation of Readiness for Covid-19, the government has not only asked companies to follow work-from-home practices till March 31 but also relaxed certain rules on the matter related to business matters as the number of coronavirus cases increase by the day. For now, the companies are not required to hold physical board meetings to discuss matters related to financial statements, board requests, restructuring and other operational matters until June 30.
New Work-From-Home Norms For Startups, Companies
The ministry is also looking into any other relaxations under the Companies Act of 2013 that may be necessary in order to minimise exposure to the coronavirus (Covid-19). As far as work from home is concerned, the government has announced that the deadline can be shifted beyond March 31 as well, depending on the situation.
The ministry notification specified that the companies will have to ensure staggered timings, in case certain employees are reporting from the office.
Last week, the government had also relaxed the work from home norms for the IT companies. As per media reports, there was no such law regarding work from home, but certain IT companies, which fall under the category of other service providers (OSPs), had to deposit INR 1 Cr with the department of telecommunication (DoT) to allow employees this facility.
In view of the concerns related to #CoronaOutbreak and on the request of @nasscom today @DoT_India has provided for certain exemptions that will facilitate the Indian IT companies to offer work from home to their employees. pic.twitter.com/0QktqVEje9
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) March 13, 2020
These include international call centres, business processing outsourcing centres (BPO), knowledge process outsourcing centres, medical transcription companies, among others.