Master Circular No. 25
Absorption of Medically De-categorised Non-gazetted Staff in Alternative Jobs.
|Instructions on the subject of "Absorption of medically decategorised" non-Gazetted staff on the Indian Railways are contained in the Indian Railway Establishment Code, Indian Railway Establishment Manual and in the various circulars issued by the Railway Board from time to time. Issue of consolidated instructions has been engaging the attention of this Ministry for some time past. They have now decided to issue consolidated instructions on the subject of "Absorption of medically decategorised non- Gazetted staff in the form of a Master Circular as below for the information and guidance of all concerned.
2. The medical decategorisation benefits are applicable only to staff who are subjected to periodical medical examination and will not be extended in the case of staff belonging to categories not requiring periodical medical examination and are given change of category.
para 2 may be treated as deleted - No. E(NG)I-93/RE-3/6, dated 18.06.1996 (RBE 48/1996)
3. Causes of medical decategorisation:- Causes, which lead to medical decategorisation, may be divided into following groups: —
i. Decategorisation arising out of natural causes such as ageing process, deterioration of visual acuity including colour perception in the ordinary course;
ii. Decategorisation arising out of injuries received owing to negligence of an employee himself or decategorisation arising out of lack of personal hygiene, want of ordinary care in regard to health by the employee or arising out of his/ her various habits such as addiction to drinks, drugs, smoke etc., and arising out of failure to take ordinary and proper precautions in performance of duties by the employee;
iii. Decategorisation arising out of accidents arising out of and in the course of employment;
iv. Decategorisation arising out of contraction of an occupational disease, disease peculiar to the service in which duties are performed. This will comprise of cases of those persons who will be covered by the occupational disease specified in Paras - A, B or C of Schedule-III to the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923. Cases in which Railway employees contract dermatitis in the course of their handling diesel and other mineral oil also would be treated as occupational disease for the purpose of these orders;
v. Decategorisation arising out of accidental injuries received owing to willful act or negligence of a co-employee; and
vi. Decategorisation directly arising out of breach of any provision of law or statutory rules by the Railway Administration.
4. Classification of medical decategorisation:
The Railway servant declared medically unfitted/decategorised can be classified in two categories: —
a. Those completely incapacitated for further service in any post on the Railway i.e. those who cannot be declared fit even in the "C" medical category; and
b. Those incapacitated for further service in the post they are holding but declared fit in lower medical category and eligible for retention in service in posts corresponding to the lower medical category.
[Para 1302 of IREM, 1989 Edition]
5. Course of action to be taken:
5.1. A Railway servant coming under the category of para 4 (a) above cannot be retained in service and is not, therefore, eligible for alternative employment. If he/she is on duty he/she shall be invalidated from service from the date of relief of his/her duty, which should be arranged without delay on receipt of the report of medical authority. If, however, he/she is granted leave, he/she shall be invalidated from service on the expiry of the leave, but if he/she is already on leave he/she shall be invalidated from service on the expiry of that leave or extension of leave. The leave or extension of leave that may be granted to him/her after the report of the medical authority has been received will be so limited that the amount of leave as debited against his/her leave account together with any period of duty beyond the date of medical report does not exceed 6 months.
5.2. In the case of Railway servants falling under the category of 4(b) above, their services should not be discharged forthwith but every endeavour should be made to find alternative employment for them as expeditiously as possible. Delays in finding out alternative employment should be avoided. Such employment must be of suitable nature and on reasonable emoluments having regard to the emoluments previously drawn by the Railway servant. If suitable alternative job is not available with same emoluments, a job with lower emoluments may be offered.
5.3. A permanent Railway servant coming under the category of para 4(b) above, must also cease to perform duties of the post he/she was holding from the date he/she is declared medically unfit. No officer has the authority to permit him/her to perform the duties of that post beyond that date. He / She should be granted leave as admissible to him/ her from the date he/ she is incapacitated subject to the proviso that where the Railway servant has not got 6 months leave to his/her credit, his/her leave should be made upto 6 months by grant of extraordinary leave. Alternative employment must be found within this period. If alternative employment cannot be found for such a person within the period of leave, his/her service should be extended by grant of extraordinary leave subject to the condition that the total amount of extraordinary leave to be granted does not exceed 6 months.
5.4. Temporary employees falling in groups (iii) to (vi) mentioned in para 3 above may also be allowed leave as admissible to them from the date of decategorisation subject to the proviso that where the employees have not got six months leave to their credit, their leave shall be made upto six months by grant of leave without pay within which alternative appointment must be found. If, however, alternative employment cannot be found for such employees within the period of leave so granted, their services should be extended by grant of leave without pay subject to the condition that the total amount of leave without pay does not exceed six months.
5.5. The above benefit will not be admissible to temporary employees falling in groups (i) and (ii) mentioned in para-3 above. It has, however, been decided that though it is not obligatory, every effort may, nonetheless be made to find alternative employment for them. They should be granted such leave as due to them plus extraordinary leave not exceeding three months, the total not exceeding six months. If no alternative employment can be found in this period, the employee should be discharged from service.
5.6. In all cases where alternative employment can be facilitated with some additional training, such training as is feasible should be provided.
5.7. The Railway servant is to be retired if one or more alternative employment is not accepted on the expiry of leave granted to him/ her.
5.8. The Railway Administration should ensure, while absorbing medically decategorised staff in alternative employment, that the interest of staff in service in that cadre are not adversely affected as far as possible.
[Paras 1301, 1303, 1304 and 1309 of IREM (1989);
6. Points to be kept in view while absorbing in alternative employment:
6.1. Medically decategorised staff may as far as possible be absorbed in such alternative posts which should broadly be in allied categories and where their background and experience in earlier posts can be utilised.
For this purpose, attempt should be made to absorb the disabled Railway servants not only within the divisions or the departments but also in another divisions or departments.
6.2. In the case of medically unfitted/decategorised running staff preference for absorption may be given in the following categories: —
a. Power Controllers;
b. Assistant Loco Foreman;
c. Instructions in Zonal Schools;
f. Job Recorders;
g. Telephone Clerks;
h. Clerks in Control Office;
i. Hostel Warden;
j. Hospital Superintendent;
k. Welfare Inspector;
l. Wagon Movement Inspector; and
m. Trains Clerk.
6.3. If permanent Railway servant is absorbed against a temporary post in a permanent cadre, a supernumerary post may be created in lieu of the temporary post and his/her lien counted against the post. Actual creation of a supernumerary post should follow the acceptance of offer of alternative post and it is desirable that if the supernumerary post is in lieu of a long-term post, the latter should preferably be one, which is expected to be converted into a permanent post very soon.
6.4. Where it is not possible to find a suitable alternative permanent post or even a suitable temporary post (convertible to supernumerary post) within the period of leave, permanent Railway servants may be absorbed against any temporary post for which they are considered suitable, within the period of leave as in interim measure. They may be shifted at the earliest opportunity against suitable permanent post or temporary post (convertible into supernumerary post). The period of service rendered against temporary post against which they are absorbed, as an interim measure will not count for the purpose of seniority and fixation of pay. The pay on permanent absorption would be fixed with reference to the pay, which they drew immediately before medical decategorisation.
6.5. Whenever a medically decategorised employee has enough knowledge for discharging efficiently the duties of the alternative post, the prescribed educational qualification for recruitment to that grade need not be insisted upon. Any minor deficiency should be made good by the training referred to in para 5.6 above.
6.6. Medically incapacitated staff should not be absorbed in higher scales.
6.7. In the case of running staff the former emoluments for the purpose of comparison and identifying equivalent posts will be basic pay plus a percentage of such pay in lieu of running allowance, as may be in force.
6.8. Medically decategorised staff should be absorbed in suitable alternative posts in regular cadre only and not in tenure posts.
6.9. A decategorised driver, if he possess vision of category A-2 on re-examination, may be allowed to work as Shunter although the standard laid down, for Shunters as A-1 will apply for new recruits and promotees. Similarly a Shunter who gets decategorised in A-1 but is found tit in A-2 may continue to be utilized on shunting duties in the Loco Sheds/Yards.
6.10. Carriage & Wagon staff who were recruited originally in B-1 category and have since been declared unfit in that category but are fit in B-2 category may be absorbed in the sick line of carriage and wagon department.
[Ref.: Paras 1305 and 1309 of 1REM (1989),
7. Priority in absorption:
7.1. When question about priority to be given for absorption amongst medically decategorised persons arises, the following may be kept in view:-
b. Prior disqualification;
c. Prior decategorisation;
d. Prior exhaustion of leave with pay;
e. Suitability for available post; and
f. Educational qualification.
The absorbing authority can use his discretion as to which particular factor should be given emphasis. If all factors are found to be equal, then the weightage must be given to "seniority" not only/ in those cases where two decategorised employees belong to the same cadre but also when they belong to different cadres.
7.2. In determining priority the following factor should also be borne in mind i.e. what was the cause of decategorisation:-
b. Occupational diseases;
c. Exposure to certain type of work done on Railways;
d. Physical unfitness on account of safety considerations;
e. Decategorisation from such categories as Guards, ASMs etc.
In determining priority, the above factor should be considered in the following order:-
a. Cause of decategorisation;
b. Other factors such as seniority etc.; and
c. All things being equal, seniority must be preferred to juniority.
8. Steps to be taken for finding alternative employment:
8.1. With a view to determine the categories in which a medically incapacitated Railway servant is suitable for absorption, a Committee should examine him. The Committee may consist of two or three officers posted at the headquarters of the officer under whom the medically incapacitated Railway servant was working, the Railway servant's immediate officer being one of the members of the Committee. After the Committee has examined the Railway servant and determined his suitability for certain categories of posts, the officer under whom the Railway servant was working will proceed to take further action to find suitable alternative employment for him.
8.2. The officer concerned will prepare a list of vacancies within his jurisdiction in the categories for which the medically incapacitated Railway servant has been found suitable and a post with emoluments as near as possible to his earlier emoluments will be offered to him.
8.3. It will be the responsibility primarily of the officer under whom the Railway servant is directly serving, to find suitable alternative employment for him. This will be done first by trying to find alternative employment in the officer's own Division, sub-division, office, workshop and C. & A. register vide sub-paragraph 8.7 and 8.8 below will be maintained for this purpose.
8.4. If there is no immediate prospect of employment in his own division, sub-division, office & C., the name of the Railway servant with particulars as given in sub-paragraph 8.7 below will be circulated to all other offices or establishments where suitable employment is likely to be found.
8.5. The names of the Railway servants likely to be suitable for clerical appointments should be intimated to the Divisional Office as well as to Headquarters Office.
8.6. Nothing in the previous sub-paragraphs debars a Railway servant from applying for a particular post for which he is likely to be deemed suitable and which is known to be vacant under any officer. Such an application must be addressed through the immediate officer of the Railway servant concerned and must contain full particulars of his service and must be forwarded to the officer to whom addressed or to the authority competent to make the appointment. The result of the application must be communicated to the Railway servant.
8.7. Details in respect of medically decategorised staff should be entered in a register to be called "Register-A". This should be maintained at Divisional or other appropriate level. This register should contain the following information:-
a. Serial number;
b. Name of the employee;
c. Post held prior to decategorisation;
e. Rate of pay;
f. Date of medical unfitness;
g. Educational and other qualifications;
h. Details of post offered with grade and rule of pay;
i. Post in which finally absorbed with grade and rate of pay;
j. Details of leave availed of - LAP, LHAP and LWP.
8.8. In order to match the supply of vacancies with the demand of the medically decategorised personnel, another register called "Register -B" should be kept indicating the vacancies in various medical categories - "A" downwards to "C" in separate pages as follows: —
i. Serial number;
ii. Designation of post with grade;
iii. Date of occurrence of vacancy;
iv. Remarks regarding filling up.
8.9. The two registers—Register "A" & "B"—should be kept up-to-date at all times and reviewed at the level of Divisional Personnel Officer or other appropriate authority in case of extra-Divisional Offices.
8.10. Separate list of staff who has not been absorbed even after 3 months of medical unfitness should be prepared and should be reviewed at DRM (Personnel) level.
8.11. Besides 3 months old cases, special note should be taken of the cases of staff who have exhausted or are at the point of exhausting their earned leave.
Note: Screening Committee should not insist on unrealistic requirements of educational and technical attainments in this connection, attention is invited to para 6 (5) above.
9. Seniority of medically decategorised non-gazetted staff absorbed in alternative post:
9.1. The medically decategorised staff absorbed in alternative post, whether in the same or other cadres, should be allowed seniority in the grade of absorption with reference to the length of service rendered in the equivalent or corresponding grade, irrespective of the rate of pay fixed in the grade of absorption. In the case of the staff who is in grade higher than the grade of absorption at the time of medical decategorisation, total service in the equivalent and higher grade is to be taken into account. This is subject to the proviso that if a medically decategorised employee happens to be absorbed in the cadre, from which he/she was originally promoted, he/she will not be placed above his/her erstwhile seniors in the grade of absorption.
9.2. The principle stated at para. 9.1 above will not apply to staffs who get their cases recommended for a change in category on medical grounds. They will be governed by the same rules as applicable to staff transferred at their own request.
9.3. Staff, who come on transfer to another unit accepting bottom seniority and later get medically decategorised, will get the benefit of only the service in the new unit for determination of seniority after decategorisation.
9.4. If vacancies are not available in equivalent grades, a medically decategorised employee has to be offered absorption in a lower grade. The employee may accept or refuse absorption in a lower grade. However, when an employee accepts the absorption in a lower grade he may accept it with the request that if a vacancy in a grade equivalent to what he/she held before decategorisation occurs in the same cadre, he/she should be considered eligible for the same in preference to a junior medically decategorised employee. While the employee can be expected to put in an application when this contingency occur, it is necessary for the Railway Administration suo-moto when considering, a subsequent decategorised employee for absorption in a cadre, to look into cases when senior decategorised employees may have been absorbed in lower grades in the same cadre during the previous 3 years and initiate a review.
9.5. As a result of the review referred to in para 9.4 above, the junior employee already absorbed and working in higher grade should not be displaced to make room for the senior. The senior may be promoted against the next vacancy arising in the grade and relative seniority in the grade re-fixed taking into account the position before medical decategorisation.
9.6. When a junior has already been absorbed in an equivalent grade but a senior gets medically decategorised during the next three year period and has necessarily to be absorbed in the same cadre as the junior employee, but no vacancy in a similar grade is available, he/she may be provisionally absorbed in a lower grade with the understanding that the next vacancy occurring in the higher grade would be given to him/her. On such a vacancy occurring and his/her being posted therein, seniority should be recast as referred to in para 9.5 above.
9.7. There may be cases, where a senior employee was absorbed in a grade taking into account his/her position before decategorisation and a junior got promoted subsequently to a higher grade but ultimately gets medically decategorised and becomes eligible for alternative employment in a higher grade. It is not the intention that such cases, which happened because of the efflux of time, should be reviewed.
9.8. Medically unfitted direct/recruits offered alternative employment should be placed at the bottom of the existing panel of the new category but should take precedence over candidates who are offered appointment in that category from subsequent panels.
[No. E(NG)63 SR6/31 dated 26.08.1964;
10. Fixation of pay of medically decategorised staff:
10.1. The pay of a Railway servant who is medically decategorised and absorbed in an alternative appointment will be fixed at a stage corresponding to the pay drawn in the post held in the parent department. If there is no such stage in the post in which he/she is absorbed, he/she is to be given the stage below the pay previously drawn by him/her.
10.2. In the case of running staff, the last pay drawn in the parent cadre + percentage of this pay in lieu of the running allowance which is 30% at present is also protected. It is, however, subject to the condition that the employee is not entitled to a pay more than maximum of the absorbing grade though he might be drawing more pay in his parent department, if decategorisation had arisen on account of the' causes mentioned in para 3(i) and 3(ii). However, if the medical decategorisation has arisen due to the causes mentioned in para 3 (iii), 3 (iv), 3 (v) and 3 (vi), the pay of the decategorised employee (in the case of running staff, pay + percentage of pay treated as emoluments in lieu of the running allowance) should be protected in the absorbing grade and if it exceeds the maximum of the absorbing grade, the difference will be allowed as personal pay to be absorbed in future increase(s) in pay.
10.3. The pay of the medically decategorised employees (in the case of running staff pay + 30% of pay in lieu of running allowance) falling under Groups (iii) to (vi) of para 3 above, and not in Group (i) & (ii) of the same para should be protected fully in the absorbing grade and if it exceeds the maximum of the absorbing grade, the difference will be permitted as personal pay to be absorbed in future increases.
10.4. If before medical decategorisation an employee is empanelled or trade tested and if the panel or trade test list is valid even at the time of decategorisation and vacancy arises in the parent department whilst the panel or the list is still in force, the decategorised employee must be considered for giving him the benefit of promotion which he would have received but for his decategorisation subject to the following conditions:
a. The benefit will be admissible only in cases where the medical decategorisation is owing to:
i. Accidents, which arose out of and in the course of employment,
ii. Accidental injuries received due to willful act or negligence of co-employee.
b. The benefit will be admissible only if the relevant panel (in the case of selection posts) or suitability list (in the case of non-selection posts) including posts filled through trade test is valid on the date from which the benefit is due.
c. The benefit will be limited only to the initial fixation of pay in the higher posts; no subsequent incremental benefit will be admissible.
10.5. In the case of Railway servant who may be undergoing the punishment for stoppage of increment without cumulative effect at the time of medical decategorisation, pay fixed at a lower rate in the alternative employment, should be allowed to draw increment in the alternative post from the date from which he/she would drawn his/her increment in the old post on withdrawal of the punishment.
[Para 304 of IRE Code Vol. I/1985;
11.1. Medically decategorised staff of RPF department may be first considered for absorption in the Ministerial posts in that department itself for which they may be medically fit. In case no suitable posts are available in that department, they may be considered for absorption in alternative posts in other departments of the Railway within the framework of the provisions of Chapter-XIII of IREM 1989.
11.2. Similarly, when staff of other Departments are medically decategorised and could not be absorbed in a suitable post in their own department, they may be considered for alternative appointment against the ministerial posts in RPF department if such posts are available in that department.
11.3. The period of leave granted to a medically decategorised staff awaiting absorption in an alternative post counts for increment of a post held by him substantially in terms of Rule 1320 (b)(i) R.II (6th Edition).
a. While referring to this Circular, the original letters referred to herein should be read for a proper appreciation. This circular is only a consolidation of the instructions issued so far and should not be treated as a substitution to the originals. In case of doubt, the original circular should be relied upon as authority.
b. The instructions contained in the original circulars referred to have only prospective effect from the date of issue unless specifically indicated otherwise in the concerned circular. For dealing with old cases, the instructions in force at the relevant time should be referred to.
c. If any circular on the subject, which has not been superseded, has not been taken into consideration while preparing this consolidated letter, the said circular, which has been missed through oversight, should be treated as valid and operative. Such a missing circular, if any, may be brought to the notice of the Railway Board.
List of circulars from which consolidation has been made
4. F(E)62 LE 4/1 dated 14.9.1963
30. 78/E(RLT)/4 dated 26.6.1979
31. E(NG)II/72/RE 3/3 dated 15.9.1979
35. E(P&A)II/80/RS-10 dated 17.7.1981
39. E(NG)I/86/RE 3/3 dated 09.04.1986 (RBE 75/86)
40. 78/E/(RLT)/4 dated 18.7.86
41. E(NG)I/86/RE 3/5 dated 20.11.1986 (RBE 224/86)
42. E(NG)I/88/RE 3/1 dated 11.04.1988 (RBE 76/88)
43. E(G)88/LE2/12 dated 23.08.1988
45. E(NG)I/88/RE 3/2 dated 18.01.1989 (RBE 22/89)
46. E(NG)I/88/RE 3/3 dated 28.03.1989 (RBE 91/89)
Orders issued subsequently
1. E(NG)I-90/RE 3/1/dated 26.02.1991 (RBE 40/91)
2. E(G)92-LE 1-6 dated 23.11.1993 (RBE 122/93)
3. E(NG)I/93/RE 3/6 dated 29.04.1994 (RBE 36/94).
4. Supplementary Circular No. 1 - para 2 may be treated as deleted - No. E(NG)I-93/RE-3/6, dated 18.06.1996 (RBE 48/1996)
5. Supplementary Circular No. 2 vide Railway Board's letter No. E(NG)I-96/RE3/9 dated 11.12.2000 (RBE 213/2000)
6. Supplementary Circular No. 3 vide E(NG)I-2000/RE-3/5 dated 31.07.2001 (RBE 149/2001)
7. Supplementary circular No. 5 - Absorption in alternative employment of disabled/ medically decategorised staff vide Railway Board's letter No. E(NG)I-2001/RE-3/9 dated 18.09.2002 (RBE 159/2002).
8. Supplementary Circular No. 6 vide under Railway Board's letter No. E(NG)I-2001/RE-3/8 dated 01/07/2003 (RBE 113/2003).
9. Clarification - vide Railway Board's letter No. E(NG)I-2002/RE3/10 dated 30.06.2003 (RBE 112/2003).