An online petition seeking government intervention to make IT firms reduce the mandatory notice period to four weeks is gaining momentum. At least 34,000 people have supported the demand so far.
Latif Bansal, in his Change.org petition addressed to Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, says that the non-negotiable 90 days notice period had no justification.
“There is no valid reason to force someone to work for 3 more months when they have to discontinue working for personal reasons,” Bansal says in his petition.
“No role/task is such that which cannot be officially transitioned to next person/team within a month. I have personally given both major and minor transitions on switching assignments and it always took me from three days to a maximum of 15 days to do it,” the petition adds.
Bansal also writes that it was “unrealistic” for anyone to resign from their position three months ahead, and that the three months’ notice period is usually “unbearable” for the employee and is often “mistreated”.
If employees fail to serve the notice period, they are often blacklisted in the existing company and are also not given experience certificates, Bansal added.
The petition resonates with several IT employees, who lose out on opportunities because of the 90-day rule.
“When we are given an offer letter, we are often told to join within 15 days, but we are made to serve a notice period of 90 days. So, even if there is a good opportunity we often have to let go of them because of this unfair rule,” says Ananya*, a TCS employee.
“We are told that the three months’ notice period is necessary so that we can transfer the knowledge that we have gained in respective projects to our replacement. This is an unethical practice which only curbs opportunities of an employee to shift their job,” says Dipin*, an Infosys employee.
“There was a guy in my team who had been part of the project for only three months, and had to quit his job as he wanted to go for higher studies. The manager allowed him to leave before the three months’ period after he paid the company. This is unfair,” he adds.
An experienced Chennai-based HR professional Krishna Parthasarathi, however, differs with the petitioner.
“The three-month notice period can work in favour of the employees too. In a situation where an employee has to be laid off, the employee gets economic security. In that case, the three months’ notice period is an economic burden for the company,” Parthasarathi tells TNM.
“Often a mutually agreed arrangement is worked out that an employee stays more than the stipulated minimum notice period and he is compensated accordingly depending on specific client deliverables,” Parthasarathi adds, dismissing claims of exploitation by employers.
Another experienced Bengaluru-based HR professional, Asif Kouser* working in the IT industry spoke in favour of the three months’ notice period and insisted that it is a necessity.
“In today's age where organisations have very few buffer resources, it becomes critical that there is enough time for an organisation to react to an employee's intention to quit and ensure that the projects do not suffer,” Kouser says.
He adds: “It is almost impossible to get new talent within a month of an employee expressing his/her intent to resign. In addition, there is a considerable amount of time spent in onboarding new talent, it is not usually a plug and play model out there.”
*Names changed on request