Moonlighting Accusation Is A Ploy To End Work From Home For IT Employees In India?

Moonlighting Accusation Is A Ploy To End Work From Home For IT Employees In India?
Moonlighting Accusation Is A Ploy To End Work From Home For IT Employees In India?

Definition Of Moonlighting: “have a second job, typically secretly and at night, in addition to one’s regular employment.”

Recently, the term moonlighting has come into prominence, within the IT sector in India.

As per reports, an IT employee working in Noida was found to be working for 7 different organizations at the same time, and it opened up Pandora’s box.

Nasscom has jumped into this debate, and as questions are being raised over this issue.

Birlasoft CEO Dharmender Kapoor, who is also Nasscom’s regional council chair for Noida, said, “We know the name of the person and which companies he worked for, because his PF records showed the employment details. It was caught by the HR managers of one of the firms, after they found multiple active PF accounts. It’s difficult to catch such cases,” 

Is moonlighting even possible today? And what if an employee really wants to work in different companies, as a consultant/freelancer and not stick to one organization?

Nasscom’s Ploy To End Work From Home: NITES President

When we asked Harpreet Saluja, President, Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate NITES on the issue of Nasscom highlighting the issue of moonlighting by IT employees, he said that it’s an attempt to bring back IT employees back to office.

He said,  “The recent news by NASSCOM regarding MOONLIGHTING which means that employees in the IT sector are working for more than one company at the same time is hard to believe. This is a deliberate move by NASSCOM to stop work from home and bring employees back to the office. 

Aadhar card and PAN card are now mandatory for joining any company. The government has also linked the Aadhaar card to the Employees Provident Fund account and each employee has a unique Universal Account Number UAN for the provident fund. It is not possible for two companies to submit an employee’s provident fund contribution in one month. Also, employees in the IT sector are working under pressure to meet deadlines. 

Employees are working more than 9 hours a day without any overtime benefits. Would there be any energy or time left if an employee is working 10-12 hours a day. Also, many IT companies have developed monitoring systems to measure employee’s productivity. We strongly condemn Nasscom’s fabricated statement just to stop work from the home model.”

Moonlighting Can Be Easily Checked

As per Vikram Shroff, head of HR law practice at law firm Nishith Desai Associates, any employer can easily check moonlighting, and stop its practice, if found to be true.

Employee’s tax filing records, along with Provident fund data is enough to track this practice.

Is Moonlighting Bad?

As per chairperson and CEO of Salesforce India, Arundhati Bhattacharya, moonlighting can be made official, and a separate category of workers can be created based on their professional commitments.

After all, not 100% of employees wish to work with only one single organization.

She said, “We have to create a hybrid workforce that includes part-timers. People should be given a choice. Abuses happen when you put them in a straightjacket, and they cannot get out. If you put them in place with different security controls and requirements, it is possible to accommodate them in a hybrid model. The future of the work will look very different,”

If a company is prohibiting the practice of moonlighting, then definitely it should be stopped. But in case this is being used as a ploy to end work from home, then it’s definitely not fair.

We will keep you updated, as more details come in. 

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