Wipro has taken a tough stand against employees involved in moonlighting and sacked 300 employees. Wipro chairman Rishad Premji said that the company found 300 people to be moonlightning and working for rival companies in the last few months, adding that there was no place for such people in the company.
WHAT IS MOONLIGHTING?
Moonlighting means taking up a second job or multiple other work assignments apart from one’s full-time job. The practice of working for other organisation while committing oneself to one’s primary workplace, typically without the employer's knowledge, is termed as 'moonlighting'. Companies have opposed the practice, saying that employees doing multiple jobs can impact their productivity.
Moonlighting has become a topic of debate in the IT industry as working from home became the normal norm during the Covid-19 pandemic, which is believed to have led to a rise in dual employment.
Moonlighting has somewhat divided the Indian IT firm following Wipro's chief's remarks. Tata Consultancy Services' chief operating officer (CFO) NG Subramaniam has termed it an ethical issue, while Tech Mahindra CEO CP Gurnani said he could be open to the practice if it helps employees make extra money. He also hopes employees to be open and has warned them of committing fraud.
Another major IT firm, Infosys, has warned its employees against taking up a second job without letting the company know. In one of the recent emails sent by the HR department to employees, Infosys highlighted that all its employees must read their employment contracts before taking up an alternative job. In fact, the company also warned employees of termination if they take up a second job during or post-working hours.
The majority of the IT companies have hardened its stand against moonlighting and have warned its employees of termination if found to be holding dual employment.
If a contract of an employee calls for non-compete and single employment, then moonlighting could be considered as cheating.
Speaking at an All India Management Association event and as reported by Moneycontrol, Premji said, "If you actually look at the definition of moonlighting, it is having a second job secretively I'm all about transparency. As a part of transparency, individuals in organisations can have very candid conversations."
He added that organisations and individuals could make a "concerted choice" about second jobs. Alluding to the Wipro incident, he reiterated that current employees working for rival firms are a "complete violation of integrity in its deepest form".
(With agency inputs)