Moonlighting: Infosys Will Fire Employees If Caught Working 2nd Job; Issues Warning

‘No two-timing, no moonlighting’.

Infosys has warned employees against moonlighting.

Threat of termination

The human resource department has said that moonlighting is not permitted as per employees’ code of conduct and any violation could lead to disciplinary action including termination of employment

It made the statement in an internal email with the subject line ‘No two-timing, no moonlighting’.

Moonlighting refers to employees working second jobs, outside normal business hours of the primary job, under certain conditions.

Infosys has made its position very clear that it “strictly discourages dual employment”.

It has said staffers that they can’t take up other assignments during or outside business hours.

The official statement

The Infosys email read, 

“As clearly stated in your offer letter, you agree not to take employment, whether full-time or part-time as director/partner/member/employee of any other organisation/entity engaged in any form of business activity without the consent of Infosys. 

The consent may be given subject to any terms and conditions that the company may think fit and may be withdrawn at any time at the discretion of the company.”

How did the issue arise?

The issue of moonlighting in the IT sector picked up steam with the COVID-19 pandemic when employees were allowed to work from remote locations.

Later, many IT firms came to know that their employees were using the remote working option to simultaneously work on projects for others.

Infosys said it will affect productivity, create conflict of interest and even cause data breaches.

Swiggy taking progressive road

Bucking the trend, Swiggy became the first company in India to openly promote moonlighting, going as far as to launch an industry-first ‘Moonlighting policy’ in August.

According to this, employees are encouraged to undertake second jobs with certain clauses, to sustain their finances.

Swiggy clarified that moonlighting would pave the way for the professionals to engage in passion projects and social works so long as it did not conflict with the company’s business interests, and was done outside office hours without affecting productivity.

IT Employee union fires back

IT employee union Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate NITES’ president Harpreet Singh Saluja has sharply condemned Infosys’ move. 

The official statement,

“Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate NITES strongly condemns the threatening email sent by Infosys to the employees. 

MOONLIGHTING which means that employees in the IT sector are working for more than one company at the same time is not feasible. 

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.”

Article 21: Right to livelihood

Further,

“IT 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. 

Employees have a contract to work with Infosys for 9 hours only. What the employees do outside working hours is their prerogative. 

The article 21 of Constitution of India has provided Right to livelihood to every citizen hence such emails sent to the employees is illegal and unethical. 

Citing clauses of contract will not help Infosys in the court of law as the clauses are included arbitrarily.”

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