“Fired A senior Employee In 10 Minutes for Moonlighting”, Says Wipro’s Chairman Rishad Premji

A month after revealing that Premji’s Company Wipro had fired 300 staff members due to moonlighting, its chairman Rishad Premji announced that his company had fired a senior employee in an apartment for 10 minutes for a “massive breach of integrity”. On Wednesday, talking at the Nasscom product meeting in Bengaluru, he said the person played an important role for the organization, “but when times are tough and you have to make tough decisions, so we decided to do it in 10 minutes”. The chairman of the fourth largest IT company in the country did not disclose the nature of the breach by the person.

Premji said that Wipro values ​​integrity. “You can be me in the corporation, and if I break one of these two, I won’t have a job,” he said. Premji said that if he broke the rules, he would also not be a part of the company. He also recalled the incident six to seven years ago when a senior person was fired because he got someone else to come forward and appeal for him.

He said that Wipro got wind of it and the person was fired immediately. The chairman said that the person was well connected and had been reaching out to all forms of media to put a lot of pressure on the organization to give it a clean, leniency certificate. There have been a lot of talks lately about the issue of moonlighting from people working in the tech industry.

நேர்மை தவறிய ஒரு மூத்த ஊழியரை 10 நிமிடங்களில் டிஸ்மிஸ் செய்தோம் - விப்ரோ சேர்மன் பிரேம்ஜி | We fired a senior employee in 10 mins for huge integrity violation Says Wipro Chairman ...

Views Of Employees On Moonlighting

Moonlighting refers to accepting other jobs and assignments while working full-time with an organization. Most organizations condemn this practice and many have measures in place to prevent it by restricting employment contracts. Despite this, the rise of the “work from home” culture that the pandemic has sparked has made it easier for employees to take on side gigs. 26-year-old working in a leading IT company from Pune, who spoke to Business Today on condition of anonymity, disagreed with Premji’s take on moonlighting.

She said, “Starting side gigs helps me learn and improve skills that aren’t otherwise used in my full-time job.” The 26-year-old also added that her side hustle pays her better than her current full-time job.  An employee in the IT sector also highlighted the benefits of moonlighting. “The basic code for most bots is the same, so it won’t take much time. I build 3-4 robots every month,” he explained. He also plans to fund his master’s degree with the money he earns from his side hustle, “I’m saving that extra money to fund my master’s degree. A college education is expensive, especially in this economy.”

But one HR manager highlighted why the practice is frowned upon in most companies. Icha Pathak, an HR manager working at a technology start-up, said, “There is a conflict of interest when you are freelancing in the same industry. Employees can use company tools and software for personal purposes, which is ethically wrong.”

Fired Employee Attacking Senior Manager Stock Image - Image of manage, indoor: 18186317

This is why many companies add a clause to employment contracts to stop this practice. In such organizations, if employees are caught, legal action will be taken against them based on the employer-employee agreement. “Moonlighting is a colloquial term used to refer to the practice of employees holding a second job in addition to their primary job. In the past few weeks, there have been countless reports of this practice in start-ups and the IT/ITES industry.

Views Of Companies On Moonlighting

Companies have issued statements against the practice and some have even taken action against offending employees. However, some companies have indicated that they are willing to allow employees to moonlight within a defined framework. Only recently has the prevalence of moonshine increased, spurred in part by socioeconomic needs caused by the pandemic.

At this point, employers recognized the prevalence of moonlighting and in some cases embraced it as part of the changing employment landscape. In addition to legal considerations, employers will also need to consider softer aspects before banning or allowing moonlighting, such as the impact of moonlighting on company culture, the industry as a whole, and the ability of employees to perform their primary job at an optimal level while moonlighting.

Given the general push for dynamic and flexible workplaces during the pandemic years, it will be interesting to see where the industry takes this practice. Companies that want to prevent employees from whistleblowing should prohibit the practice in their employment contracts with an exclusivity clause and state that a breach of the exclusivity clause would amount to misconduct. An exclusivity clause must be designed to address two nuances.

5 Tips On How To Fire An Employee Gracefully

Employees should be prohibited from accepting any other work for the duration of their employment with the company, and not just during working hours. An exclusivity provision, which is only operative during working hours, would allow employees to accept other jobs outside of working hours. The prohibition of other contracts should apply not only to employment relationships but also to consulting and advisory arrangements. Where relevant, the prohibition may be extended to directorships, shareholdings, etc. Prohibitions of this nature would be considered legitimate and enforceable under applicable laws.

One of the reasons many employers look askance at monthlies is the fear that they will burn out. Few companies may require your full-time attention, even outside of working hours. Even if the company allows moonlighting, superiors may not like the idea. The penalty for dual employment in India has not been specifically mentioned in the Indian Dual Employment Act.

Through various judicial pronouncements, the consequence of dual employment in India is to terminate the dual employment of the employee. An employee is prohibited from using their current employer’s equipment, contacts, and any intellectual property to assist a competitor or use it for their own business. It is not illegal to work for two jobs, but it may be against any workplace rules. For example, many employment contracts prohibit employees from doing.

Moonlighting Is Unacceptable: Happiest Minds Follows Wipro By Firing Employees For Dual Jobs - Inventiva

On 21 September, while addressing an event, Premji said that Wipro had laid off 300 employees who were found to be monthly workers. He commented that staff members who were serving the company for a very long time were also found moonlighting. Premji said it was “a complete breach of integrity in its deepest form”. He said that there are people working for us and our competitors both. The company found 300 such employees and fired them.

Premji has taken a tough line on coercion, a term that describes employees who accept other assignments from another company while already working for one. There’s a lot of talk in the tech industry about people screwing up. He said that it is simply cheating, nothing else. 

edited and proofread by nikita sharma 

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