Infosys warns employees against moonlighting

Bengaluru: Infosys has warned its employees they could lose jobs if they moonlight as it is impermissible as per the employee handbook and code of conduct laid down by the company.
Infosys said in an email that it will not allow moonlighting and violations may lead to termination. “No Double Lives… dual employment is not permitted as per the Employee Handbook and the Code of Conduct,” the company said.
Moonlighting means working for more than one employer at the same time.
“The rule disallowing moonlighting is mentioned in offer letters and its consent is important. The consent may be given subject to any terms and conditions that the company may think fit and may be withdrawn at any time at its discretion,” it added.
Taking a swipe at Infosys, Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES), a non-profit group, on Tuesday condemned the threatening email.
“Infosys has sent a threatening email sent by Infosys to its employees that it will terminate their jobs for moonlighting. This threat is highly condemnable,” NITES President Harpreet Singh Saluja stated.
Saluja said the email sent to the employees was illegal and unethical as Article 21 of Constitution provided right to livelihood to every citizen.
“What the employees do outside working hours is their prerogative,” he added.
Citing clauses of contract will not help Infosys in the court of law as the clauses are included arbitrarily, Saluja said.
Saluja also said the moonlighting threat by Infosys is not feasible because it is not possible for two companies to submit an employee’s provident fund contribution in one month when the government has linked the Aadhaar card to the Employees Provident Fund account.
“Each employee also has a unique Universal Account Number UAN for the Provident Fund,” he added.
Also, employees in the IT sector were working under pressure to meet deadlines and therefore it was not possible for the employees to moonlight, Saluja argued.
“IT employees are working more than 9 hours a day without any overtime benefits. Would there be any energy or time left if an employee is working 10-12 hours a day? Also, many IT companies have developed monitoring systems to measure employee’s productivity. Under these circumstances is it possible to moonlight,” he said.
The Infosys mail comes in the wake of food-aggregator platform Swiggy early August allowing its employees to work on external projects for money or pro-bono.
However Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji, in a Twitter post on August 20, trashed the idea of moonlighting in the light of IT companies facing increased attrition in the IT industry. The companies are struggling to find talent as they brace for a tough business environment.

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