InvestorQ : What could be the implications of Wipro laying off nearly 300 employees from its rolls due to moonlighting?
Dawn Cherian made post

What could be the implications of Wipro laying off nearly 300 employees from its rolls due to moonlighting?

Mitali Bhutta answered.
2 weeks ago

Just about 10 days after Infosys wrote a warning mail to its employees dissuading them from indulging in moonlighting, Wipro has laid off 300 of its workers for moonlighting. In the IT industry parlance, moonlighting is about allowing employees to work for multiple employers at the same time. However, companies like Infosys and Wipro have called it plain cheating and double-timing the employer. By terminating 300 employees from its rolls for moonlighting, Wipro has literally stirred a hornet’s nest. Here is what could happen.

Rishad Premji was emphatic that moonlighting was violation of integrity and ethics as also against the employment rules of Wipro. The firing of these 300 persons was more as a deterrent measures, but it also highlights another important point that top IT companies have been sharing information about employees possibly moonlighting. One can argue that moonlighting is not an Indian phenomenon, but a global issue; but the concerns raised by the companies are also valid, like security, integrity, loyalty, access to information etc.

Interesting the industry is divided about this concept of moonlighting. Incidentally, CP Gurnani of Tech Mahindra has supported this trend. He has asked the IT companies to adjust with the times, especially as work gets more dispersed and decentralized. Gurnani suggests that rather than trying to restrict moonlighting, IT companies must prescribe checks and balances. Even as some players like Swiggy encourage its employees to moonlight, the Indian IT industry is far from impress. That is how it is likely to remain.

The contention of the employees and the unions is that what employees do outside office hours is not the employer’s business. That may be a naïve and pompously innocent statement. No employer would want to pay fixed salary to an employee who is double timing them and helping competition. Employees call lit a hedge against lay-offs, but that is far from an acceptable reason. Rishad Premji is open to a discussion and gigs with approval, but secretly helping competition is not accepted. It is likely to get more interesting.