New Delhi: Information technology company Wipro Limited has sacked 300 employees for working in two places i.e. ‘moonlighting’.
When an employee works secretly in other places along with his regular job, then it is technically called ‘Moonlighting’.
Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji on Wednesday said the company has no place for any employee who also works with rival companies while on Wipro’s ‘payroll’.
Rishad said that the company has found 300 employees working with the rival organization and has taken action against them and fired them from the company.
He said that he stood by his comments about ‘moonlighting’ and it was a complete breach of allegiance to the company.
Premji said at the All India Management Association (AIMA) national conference, “The reality is that today there are people who are working for a rival company along with Wipro. We have actually traced 300 such employees in the last few months, who are actually doing this.
Asked about the action taken against such employees working for the company as well as the rival organization, he said separately during the event that he has been fired for breach of loyalty to the company.
Premji said that the very definition of ‘moonlighting’ is to do other work in a secret way. Transparency allows individuals to have a clear and open conversation about working on a project over the weekend.
On employees working secretly for competing companies, he said, “There is no scope for anyone to work with Wipro as well as with its rival organization.”
Significantly, a new debate has started in the industry after Wipro Chairman’s recent remarks on ‘moonlighting’. IT companies are in fact concerned that workers moving to other jobs after regular working hours will affect the ‘productivity’ of work and may lead to conflicts and data breaches.
Premji had said in a tweet on this issue on August 20, ‘A lot of things are coming out about employees doing moonlighting in information technology companies. This is plain and simple deception.
There is a lot of chatter about people moonlighting in the tech industry. This is cheating – plain and simple.
— Rishad Premji (@RishadPremji) August 20, 2022
Apart from this, information technology (IT) company Infosys has warned of disciplinary action to the employees working in the company along with other jobs.
Infosys has said in a message to the employees that work or ‘moonlighting’ is not allowed in two places. Any breach of contract will be subject to disciplinary action and may result in termination.
At the same time, leading technology company IBM has also called ‘moonlighting’ unethical.
IBM’s Managing Director (India and South Asia) Sandeep Patel said at an event last week that employees can do whatever they want during their rest time, but moonlighting is not ethical.
According to news agency PTI, Sandeep Patel said that at the time of joining the company the employees sign an agreement that they will work only for IBM.
However, not everyone agrees about moonlighting.
CP Gurnani, CEO, Tech Mahindra, had tweeted on August 28, saying, “It is important to keep up with the times and I welcome the disruption in the way we do things.”
My thoughts on the trending ‘M word’… It’s necessary to keep changing with the times, and as always, I welcome disruption in the ways we work https://t.co/Y23oohAvDm
— CP Gurnani (@C_P_Gurnani) August 28, 2022
With Moonlighting making headlines, industry watchers are cautioning that employers may consider additional security measures to protect proprietary information and operating models. Especially where employees are working remotely.
Analysts say companies may also tighten the exclusivity conditions in employment contracts.
(with input from news agency language)
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