Indian IT company Wipro chairman Rishad Premji said that the company has sacked 300 employees after finding out that they were moonlighting with one of its competitors.
Premji said on Wednesday that all 300 employees were terminated for “act of integrity violation”, He explained that moonlighting is a complete violation of integrity “in its deepest form”.
“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,” Premji said.
A major ethical issue for IT sector
With the Wipro decision, more IT companies will enforce stricter policies to stop employees from taking up assignments outside of their regular jobs.
Other IT companies like Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) have also publicly stated that moonlighting is an ethical issue.
Infosys – India’s second largest IT services company – even officially reminded its employees that moonlighting is in violation of its code of conduct for employees.
“No two-timing – no moonlighting! Infosys as a company strictly discourages dual employment. Any violation of these clauses will lead to disciplinary action which could even lead to termination of employment,” Infosys said in an email to its employees.
Remote working to blame?
Moonlighting is not a new phenomenon, but the remote-working arrangement preferred by the Indian IT sector has allowed employees to take up this option.
According to IT talent consulting and intelligence firm Han Digital, about three or four out of every 100 full-time employees were found to be working in parallel assignments over the past 12 months.
TCS COO N Ganapathy Subramaniam recently said, “The talent war happened … from my perspective because during the pandemic 90% of the enterprises did not hire. Few organisations like TCS, we went and honoured everything, we kept hiring.”
Moonlighting rules ok
Not every company sees moonlighting as a serious problem. Some actively encourage it.
Last month, food delivery startup Swiggy introduced a moonlighting policy allowing its employees to take up extra projects after work hours.
IT service provider Tech Mahindra’s CEO CP Gurnani also tweeted that it was necessary to keep changing with the times. He also said that the issue was “not rampant”, and his company might “make a policy” so employees can be open about pursuing more than one job at a time.
“I welcome disruption in the ways we work,” Gurnani said.