Moonlighting gets 300 employees at Wipro the pink slip: Rishad Premji



Wipro has terminated the services of 300 staff members who, it discovered, were working for its competitors while still being on the company’s payroll, the firm’s executive chairman Rishad Premji said on Wednesday.


“The reality is that there are people today working for Wipro and working directly for one of our competitors and we have actually discovered 300 people in the past few months who are doing exactly that,” said Premji, speaking at the All India Management Association’s national management convention, according to a PTI report.


Asked about the action taken against employees taking up side gigs, Premji — a vocal critic of moonlighting — said their employment had been terminated for an ‘act of integrity violation’.


“There is no space for someone to work for Wipro and competitor XYZ and they would feel exactly the same way if they were to discover the same situation,” he said.


An email sent to Wipro did not elicit any response.


Recently, Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder and former chief executive officer, Infosys, also said that working for more than one company simultaneously didn’t build trust and ‘new generations’ needed to realise this.


“If you want to give your 100 per cent to the task you have been given, you need to be fully committed. If you want to build trust, you should be working for one organisation. How can you work for two/three companies at the same time?” asked Gopalakrishnan. He further added, “Maybe you can work in an organisation and work for a cause like a non-governmental organisation or a charity.”


Moonlighting refers to pursuing more than one job at a time and remote working has helped employees take up this option. It has, of late, become a concern for the Indian information technology (IT) services industry. A few months back, restaurant aggregator player Swiggy announced an ‘industry-first’ policy that allowed its on-payroll employees to take up work.


Other than Wipro, companies have also come out and said that they will not allow employees to moonlight.


Infosys, India’s second-largest IT services company, in September sent an email to its employees titled ‘No Double Lives’ and said “…dual employment is not permitted in line with the employee handbook and code of conduct”.


The email said that the rule disallowing moonlighting is mentioned in the offer letters and the company’s consent is paramount.


“The consent may be given, subject to any terms and conditions the company may think fit, and may be withdrawn at any time at the discretion of the company,” it said.


This was also followed by IBM India, when its head Sandip Patel said that the company in its offer letter makes it clear that all its employees — when hired — sign an agreement which says that they are going to be working for IBM. “Notwithstanding what people can do with the rest of their time, it’s not ethically right to do,” said Patel.



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