Infosys encourages employees to go on a sabbatical and work for NGO’s
In the first time ever kind of move, Infosys has provided an option to employees to go on a sabbatical and work for NGO’s for a year. For an employee to qualify, he or she should be with Infosys for at least 2 years. Employees will be paid 50% salary during this time and the rest can be recovered from the NGO’s they are working with.
This news caught my attention for two reasons. One is the salary cut element. The other is the non-governmental organization (NGO) and Corporate Social Responsibility element. When I go through my feeds or the newspapers, what I see is either the job cuts or salary cuts or both. This is in addition to the bankruptcy and the recession talk. The job cuts are mostly coming from global companies but, Indian companies are not far behind.
Labor laws are a little strict in India and protect the employees in the private sector to some extent. This restriction has forced companies to look at alternative ways for reducing cost and work force. For this they are employing innovative ways. Weeding out non performers, firing over fudged bills and threatening to terminate are the things we have seen so far. But, 50% salary cut and going on a sabbatical is very new, innovative and takes the cake.
Coming to the second element which is working for a NGO element, drives the discussion to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The BS report states that, it is Narayana Murthy’s dream and has been on the cards for a while. It is the way one can give back to society. The details of this are still being worked out. It is purely voluntary and left to the employee to opt for it. I only hope more companies would follow Infy. I wish my company was offering this.
I would like to believe the reason is more to do with the CSR element rather than the cost cutting element. But, the timing of the move has coincided with turbulent times. Only time will tell if this was a strange coincidence.
Which one do you think is the right reason : cost cutting or social responsibility?