Lockdown 4.0: Will domestic helps return to work? RWA guidelines reveal tricky path ahead

By: |
May 20, 2020 7:47 PM

In initial communications, RWAs in Gurgaon have asked the residents to accompany their helps so that they don't touch lift buttons, get necessary test done, guide helps on phone about the precaution, call them on alternate days.

It has been left to local administration to devise rules and guidelines to ensure social distancing – for domestic helps, the RWAs have been asked to devise the plans. (IE)

Covid lockdown 4.0: The Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) across Delhi-NCR are putting up strict guidelines for the entry of domestic help to ensure safety of residents in their societies. To begin with, the RWAs have started collecting the details of domestic helps whom residents want to call back. In initial communications, RWAs in Gurgaon have asked the residents to accompany their helps so that they don’t touch lift buttons, get necessary test done, guide helps on phone about the precaution, call them on alternate days.

Last week, the Centre left it to the chief ministers to decide what services they wanted to allow in their respective states. Days later, the states came out with revised guidelines for the fourth phase of lockdown. The states have now allowed people to return to work in less affected areas like Orange and Green Zones. However, it has been left to local administration to devise rules and guidelines to ensure social distancing – for domestic helps, the RWAs have been asked to devise the plans.

In Gurgaon, Princeton Estate, Summit in DLF5 and Unitech Fresco have issued some measures that a domestic help and residents will have to follow. The Indian Express reports that the Princeton Estate has divided domestic helps in two batches — they are supposed to work on alternate days and their entry will be allowed only once a day to avoid overcrowding in common spaces. Here, the residents have been asked to guide their helps on phone about the precautions and get the concerned test done.

The RWA at The Summit in DLF5 have made it mandatory for all maids, drivers, gardeners, basement laundrymen and car cleaners to undergo the basic CBC blood test before resuming work. However, the cost of test will have to borne by the residents. Also, the timing has been fixed for the helps from 8 to 4 pm’ to ensure less crowed.

According to the report, Unitech Fresco has directed residents to accompany the person from the tower lobby to their flats so that the maid doesn’t touch the lift buttons. In an email to residents, the RWA said that when helps reach the lobby of the tower, the guards will check his/her name in the list and inform the resident to come and escort her to the flat”. They will also have to escort the help out once the work is done.

On May 4, Gautam Buddh Nagar authorities had asked the associations to take a decision on entry after consulting their respective residents whether or not to allow the entry of helps. It, however, had said that non-containment zones must ensure domestic helps work only for a single household, and there should be arrangements for scanning them.

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