Terming Infosys’s email as illegal and unethical, the Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) said what employees do outside working hours is their prerogative.

Infosys signboard
Atom Information Technology Tuesday, September 13, 2022 - 17:06

IT (Information Technology) major Infosys has come down hard on moonlighting (dual employment) and warned employees that if found out, it could lead to termination of services. The Bengaluru-based company sent an email to employees titled “No Double Lives” and said, “… dual employment is not permitted as per the Employee Handbook and the Code of Conduct. It further said, “Any violation of these clauses will lead to disciplinary action which could even lead to termination of employment.”

Infosys described moonlighting as the practice of working on a second job or multiple other work assignments during normal business hours. The email said that the rule barring moonlighting is spelt out in offer letters and the company’s consent is important. “The consent may be given subject to any terms and conditions that the company may think fit and may be withdrawn at any time at the discretion of the company,” the email said. 

Moonlighting came into focus after food aggregator platform Swiggy in August allowed employees to work on external projects for money or pro-bono. It has become a growing concern for IT companies as they fear employees doing multiple jobs can impact their productivity, create a conflict of interest or even lead to data breaches. 

Infosys insiders confirmed the stern mail by the company, warning them not to take up any other job while working for the company recently. Last month, Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji had labelled moonlighting as cheating. He tweeted: “There is a lot of chatter about people moonlighting in the tech industry. This is cheating—plain and simple."

Reacting to Infosys’s email, the Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES), a non-profit group told Business Standard: “Employees have contract to work with Infosys for 9 hours only. What the employees do outside working hours is their prerogative. Article 21 of the Constitution of India has provided Right to Livelihood to every citizen, hence such emails sent to the employees is illegal and unethical. Citing clauses of contract will not help Infosys in the court of law as the clauses are included arbitrarily.”

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