Nasscom Seeks Permission To Fire IT Employees, Reduce Salaries, Force Them To Work More
National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) is Indian IT sector’s most influential and powerful industry body.
In a shocking development, Nasscom has asked state governments to allow IT companies to not only fire ‘surplus’ employees, but also reduce their salaries, and force employees to work extra hours.
These permissions have been sought via a request to amend labor laws for IT companies.
We strongly consider this as Nasscom’s anti-employee move here.
Nasscom To State Govt: Allow IT Firms To Fire Employees!
Nasscom has approached 4 state governments: UP, MP, Maharashtra and Gujarat, and asked them to amend existing labor laws which will allow the IT employers from these states to put pressure on employees, and fire them as they wish.
This request has been made to enable the IT firms deal with ‘severe economic downturn’, and protect $191 billion IT sector.
There are mainly 6 requests made to these state governments by Nasscom:
- IT employers should be allowed to put employees in furlough, which is leave without pay
- IT employers should be able to fire ‘surplus’ employees, as they deem fit
- Women employees should be allowed to work from home at night
- IT employers should be able to force employees to work extra hours. As of now, law mandates only 8 hours of work per day
- IT employers should not be asked to give 21 days notice to either Govt or employees, in case of any policy change
- IT employers should be granted a self-declaratory model for meeting Govt compliance, which essentially means that they should be able to make their own rules about labor management.
We spoke with Harpreet Saluja, General Secretary, National Information Technology Employees Senate NITES on this development, and he expressed his shock and dismay over Nasscom’s call for labor law amendments.
He said, “NITES condemns this action of Nasscom and urges State Government’s to not ammend the existing Labour laws. The demand of Nasscom that IT-ITeS sector should be allowed to temporarily lay off surplus workforce with payment of a 50% compensation or minimum wages, whichever is less, during the layoff period, without compromising on the employee’s statutory entitlements is unethical and doesn’t hold humanitarian grounds. Already multiple complaints have been made to the State Government’s regarding illegal layoffs and salary cuts by IT firms under COVID19 pandemic. In such difficult times employees are unable to appear for interviews and join any other organizations. The employees have various financial obligations and due to salary deductions they already are unable to support their families.
The companies should take decisions keeping welfare of it’s hardworking employees in mind who are the backbone of economy and any organization. A lot of IT Companies have generously donated to the PM care fund but when it comes to their own employees these companies to maintain the profitability are not supporting their own people. This is a highly shameful and condemnable act by a reputed association like Nasscom which under such testing times is not thinking anything beyond the profits capitalists. If Government approves such unethical requests of association employers a mass protest will be started by the white collared IT, ITES, BPO and KPO employees.”
Nasscom Wants Labor Laws To Be Amended
These requests to the states governments of UP, MP, Gujarat and Maharashtra have been made so as to change the existing labor laws for IT employees.
Infact, some states have amended the labor laws, but they only apply to factories and manufacturing sector, and not IT sector.
Nasscom is not happy with this, it seems, and they have asked these states to amend labor laws for IT employees as well.
Ashish Aggarwal, head – public policy at Nasscom said, “Most of the states, such as UP, have given blanket exemption from all laws to manufacturing companies, except two-three Acts. We don’t want blanket exemptions, but we also don’t want the IT sector to be left out while these labour law changes are being made,”
Ashish justified this logic to fire employees, and force them to work extra by saying, “The industry is in dire need of labour law reforms in order to drive back recovery. At this crucial hour, it is necessary to ease business conditions in the form of well-thought labour law reforms,”
In case these 4 states accept Nasscom’s request, and amend the labor laws for IT employers and employees, then it will mean that IT employees are left at the mercy of IT employers. Any employee can fired without any reason, any employee can be asked to apply leave without pay, and more.
Recently, Nasscom head warned of layoffs in the IT sector, if the situation doesnt improve in next 6 months.
This is a developing story, and we will adding more information, as it comes.