Employees of Kerala municipality cleared for shooting viral reel during Sunday duty

It was found that the reel was shot on a Sunday, a holiday when the employees were called in for emergency work related to the monsoon season.


Published Jul 04, 2024 | 11:49 AM Updated Jul 04, 2024 | 11:49 AM

Reel shot in municipality office

Are government employees allowed to engage in creative activities like shooting reels during their leisure time on duty, as long as it doesn’t affect their work or violate service rules?

A controversy erupted on social media after the authorities of a Municipality issued a show-cause notice to a group of employees— two females and six males —for shooting a reel that went viral.

The incident occurred at Thiruvalla Municipality in Pathanamthitta district caught the attention of State Local Self-Government Department Minister MB Rajesh.

Upon investigation, it was found that the reel was shot on a Sunday, a holiday when the employees were called in for emergency work related to the monsoon season.

“It is understood that the employees were called in on a holiday due to emergency circumstances related to the monsoon season, as per the Collector’s instructions. The information received also made it clear that the reel was shot without affecting office work,” it said.

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No disciplinary action

After examining the case, Rajesh instructed the concerned officials not to take disciplinary action against the employees for shooting a reel on a Sunday, a holiday, during overtime work in Thiruvalla Municipality.

He also appreciated the employees who come to work even on Sundays, ready to serve in emergency situations.

The Minister said the government fully supports all creative and cultural activities of employees.

“However, they should be done without affecting official duties, causing inconvenience to the public, and violating service rules. All such activities should be conducted only during non-duty hours. The government has already instructed that no celebrations or events should be organised in offices during working hours, which could hinder work,” Rajesh said.

A social media user said showing a little creativity at the workplace is a good thing.

“It’s not about just sitting in the dark, piling up files, and not even cracking a smile, as if fighting a war with people. It’s about breaking the stereotype that only those who are stern and serious can work. Instead, the government should encourage and promote employees who show a new face of the office, a friendly and approachable one,” said the user.

Many social media users have congratulated the Minister for his decision on the matter.

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