Wipro Ltd has laid off about 300 employees for “moonshots” as the IT services company took a hard line against employees taking a second after-hours leave.
Its president Rishad Premjiwho has been a vocal critic of the rogue practice, said the company has no room for any employee who chooses to work directly with competitors while on the Wipro payroll.
He said at an AIMA event it was “a complete violation of integrity in its deepest form”.
“The reality is today there are people who work for Wipro and work directly for one of our competitors, and we’ve actually discovered 300 people in the last few months are doing exactly that. “, said Mr. Premji.
Later, when asked about action against 300 employees, he said services were terminated in those specific violations.
Information technology companies are concerned that employees taking on extra work after normal hours will affect productivity, lead to conflicts of interest and possibly data breaches.
Mr Premji has been a scathing critic of it and in the recent past equated it with “cheating”.
Last month, he took to Twitter to say, “There’s been a lot of talk about geeks in the tech industry. This is cheating – plain and simple.” His tweet sparked a strong reaction in the industry, with many IT companies being wary of such behaviour.
Infosys, last week, fired its employees, insisting that dual employment is not allowed and warning that any breach of contract terms would lead to disciplinary action “maybe even” resulting in termination of employment”.
“There are no two moments – there is no moonlight!” Infosys, India’s second largest IT services company, said in a strong and unwavering message to employees last week.
Infosys’s internal communication titled “no double life” made it clear that “dual work is not allowed under … Employee Handbook and Code of Conduct”.
It also cites relevant terms in the invitation to drive home points.
Infosys’ letter said: “Any breach of these terms will result in disciplinary action, possibly even termination of employment.
IBM India also joined the chorus of moonlight, considering it an unethical practice.
IBM India and South Asia CEO Sandip Patel explained that at the time of joining, the company’s employees signed an agreement stating that they would only work for IBM. “…Whatever people can do with the rest of their time, doing it (moonlight) is not morally right,” Patel said.
However, not everyone agrees.
Tech Mahindra CEO, CP Gurnani, tweeted recently that the need to keep changing with the times and added, “I welcome the disruption in the way we work”.
On Wednesday, Mr. Premji, while speaking at the National Management Conference of AIMA (All India Management Association), sought to clear the air around why he has such strong views on Moonlight Matters states that his opinion “has the more sincere meaning that people interpret it as such”.
Mr Premji said he considered his recent comments about the illumination on the moon a complete violation of integrity “in its deepest form” and cited cases where 300 employees were identified. currently working simultaneously for Wipro and its competitors.
When asked about the action against employees who were working for the company as well as for competitors, Mr. Premji, on the sidelines of the event afterwards, said that their jobs were terminated because of “their behavior.” integrity violation”.
The very definition of moonlighting is about secretly having another job. As part of transparency, individuals can have frank and open conversations all around, such as playing in a band or working “on a weekend project,” he explained. .
“It’s an open conversation where the organization and the individual can make a coordinated choice, whether that works for them or doesn’t work for them as an organization,” he said.
Mr. Premji sought to distinguish such cases from those where employees also secretly worked for competitors, saying: “There is no place for someone to work for Wipro and competitor XYZ and they would feel exactly the same if they found out about the same situation.”
Mr. Premji said: “That’s what I meant… so I really followed what I said… I think it’s a violation of integrity if you’re flirting with that shape and shape. .
With the issue in the spotlight today, some industry watchers have warned that employers may consider additional safeguards to protect proprietary information and operating models, especially especially when employees are working remotely. Companies could also get tougher on exclusivity clauses in employment contracts, analysts say.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from the syndication feed.)