Thu. Feb 9th, 2023

MUMBAI: Homegrown IT major Infosys Ltd. has cautioned its employees against moonlighting, saying that such activities will lead to termination of contract. The company, in an internal post, informed its employees that dual employment will not be allowed as per Infosys’s code of conduct.

“At Infosys, dual employment is not permitted as per Employee Handbook and Code of Conduct,” said the firm highlighting the part of the offer letter which cautions that employees can not take up roles in other firms unless Infosys permits.

The reminder comes as top software services firms sharpen scrutiny on employees, worried that some of them may be taking up side hustles without company approval. There are concerns that the trend will affect productivity, create conflicts of interest and even cause data breaches. As a result, many are clamping down on such activities.

For instance, Blackstone Group-controlled tech firm Mphasis, which employs more than 36,000 people, said it was keeping a hawk-eye on employees to deter offenders. Last month, Wipro’s executive chairman, Rishad Premji, labelled moonlighting as “cheating”, sparking a debate and bringing the long-festering issue into the limelight. He tweeted, “There is a lot of chatter about people moonlighting in the tech industry. This is cheating—plain and simple”.

At an industry event N. Ganapathy Subramaniam, chief operating officer of Tata Consultancy Services, said employees need to be on the ethical side and moonlighting will not work out in the long run. “Employers need to inculcate ethics and being right… If you make something like this for short-term gains, in the long-term, you will lose out—that kind of a message has to go to the employees,” Subramaniam said.

“Citing clauses of contract will not help Infosys in the court of law as the clauses are included arbitrarily,” said Harpreet Singh Saluja, President, Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES). He added that IT companies have developed monitoring systems to measure employee’s productivity. “Employees have contract to work with Infosys for 9 hours only. What the employees do outside working hours is their prerogative,” said Saluja.

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