Benched Employees In Wipro Will Not Get Any Salary For 3 Extra Months; ‘Poor Performance’ Is Their Reason
All IT companies have seen a drop in their growth rates during the COVID-19 pandemic that is in the first quarter. Many companies are still unsure about the upward growth. The companies are looking at their benched employees as they decide on measures to cut back on costs.
The benched employees in an IT firm are referred to as those who aren’t working on a billable project and these account for 5-7% of the workforce in any IT company.
Wipro has introduced an ‘extended bench period’ wherein benched employees continue to remain an employee but with a loss of pay for 3 months. These employees will continue to receive only their insurance coverage.
Read on to find out more…
Wipro Gives Final Word of Caution to Benched Employees!
Wipro’s email to impacted employees says: “You may choose to avail your available and accrued leave balance during the period. Upon exhausting your earned leave, you will be placed on loss of pay for the remainder of the extended bench period.”
This move seems to aim at the existing benched employees who have a poor rating on their latest performance assessments. Wipro’s performance matrix has five ratings –outstanding contribution, exceeds expectations, highly-valuable contribution, more contribution expected and unsatisfactory contribution.
Although, an employee on the condition of anonymity said, ”During the pre-pandemic days, Wipro used to put a lock on the profiles of those who are in the bottom-rung on the performance stack. These employees aren’t given projects despite them finding one with some internal contacts.”
If after the period of these extended 3 months gets over and still the employee still does not have a billable project, he/she may be asked to leave.
Wipro said these employees will receive only the insurance coverage and not receive discretionary bonus and Quarterly Performance Linked Compensation (QPLC) during the loss of pay period.
Wipro also said its key area of focus currently is to protect jobs at all costs.
The company also mentioned that this extension period is a one -time thing aimed to protect jobs and support its employees.
Recently, several hundred Cognizant employees were affected due to bench and performance-related actions in India. Last year, the IT services firm reduced the bench tenure from 60 days to 35 days.
Last month, Hexaware also resorted to similar measures as Wipro.
In a verbal communication to its bench employees the company said that the benched employees won’t be paid for the months of May, June, and July. If after July they still remain on the bench, they might be terminated.
Wipro’s New Policy
These amends that are being made by the company are a part of the new allocation and deployment policy. These are probably initiated by the new CEO Thierry Delaporte.
The policy states that the company reserves its right to initiate action, including termination, if an employee fails to join a suitable billable project within the timelines prescribed.
The company said in a statement to TOI: “The allocation and deployment policy for India covers those who are not engaged in assignments and have remained unbilled for an extended period. The policy is applied upon receiving employee’s consent and will extend for three months. During their period of leave, while awaiting their next assignment, Wipro is committed to helping these employees reskill themselves.”
The company also pointed out that it is not firing any employees or doing any retrenchments amidst the crisis. Wipro chairman Rishad Premji in the recent AGM emphasized this.