Infosys Employees Can Work Extra Gigs With ‘Permission’; This Is How Employee Union Reacted

Infosys is officially permitting its employees to take up external gig work after manager approval.

Infosys Employees Can Work Extra Gigs With 'Permission'; This Is How Employee Union Reacted

This makes it the first large software services firm in India to do so.

The conditions

An email sent to employees states that whoever wants to take up gig work may do so but with the prior consent of their manager and BP-HR.

The work must be done in the employee’s personal time, for establishments that do not compete with Infosys or Infosys’ clients.

Interestingly, the email nowhere mentions the term ‘moonlighting’, since it implies dual employment which continues to be prohibited.

Have to avoid conflict of interest

The email instead lays down guidelines that will enable employees to take up side projects that are not in direct conflict with their employment contract.

“We count on our employees to ensure that this does not impact their ability to work with Infosys effectively. 

In addition, as per Infosys employment contract, employees may not work in areas when there is a potential conflict of interest or by accepting dual employment,” the email further said.

Employee Union NITES Reacts

Reacting to this development, Harpreet Singh Saluja, President, Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate NITES said, “IT employees cannot be treated as bonded labours.

We condemn the statement of Infosys CEO Salil Parekh that to take up any gig work outside the organization, the employees need to take permission from the Infosys management.

This is clear violations of Human Rights & Personal Liberty.

Right to privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 and as a part of the freedoms guaranteed by Part III of the Indian Constitution.

The right to privacy is also recognized as a basic human rights under Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Act, 1948, which state that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence.

There is no legal limit on the number of salaried jobs an employee can hold.

In India sometimes the company’s directors hold multiple jobs.

The salaries of entry level employees has been stagnant for more than a decade.

Keeping the inflation in view, if an employee wants to support his family financially by taking up a side hustle he shouldn’t be treated as a criminal.

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

Valuing “learnability”

As an organization the firm values learnability and they are supportive of employees taking up additional projects, it added.

It once again stressed that workers need to ensure that the project they take up “comply with the company’s policy for gig working, and do not breach client contracts or otherwise impact the employee’s ability to be effective in their full-time job with Infosys.” 

Much of these requirements can be addressed when employees have a discussion with their managers before taking up these projects, it said. 

Internal gigs program

Furthermore, through its Accelerate platform employees can take up opportunities for gig working internally.

The platform enables managers to list gig work jobs that employees can take up.

On average, Chief Executive Officer Salil Parekh said about 4,000 people apply each quarter and 600 are selected.

Swiggy

Swiggy was already ahead of the curve when it comes to accommodating moonlighting.

It developed a policy in which employees can take up extra work either for free or for economic consideration after an internal approval process. 

Drafting moonlighting policy

It seems Infosys is following suit.

Last week, Parekh said that the company was working on a policy to allow employees to take on gigs outside of the company.

They are also developing more comprehensive policies for that while ensuring contractual and confidentiality commitments are fully respected.

The firm, however, did sack employees in the past found to be “doing blatant work in two specific companies where there are confidentiality issues”, Parekh said.

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