Infosys has allowed employees to take up ‘gig’ jobs on the side with prior consent of managers provided such an engagement does not compete with the company, its clients or pose conflict of interest.
The company, in an internal communication to employees, detailed how staff can take up ‘gig’ work.
Analysts say the move may help the company to address some attrition challenges, since it allows employees to take up additional source of earnings, and chase their tech passion, albeit with firm riders.
It, however, did neither define ‘gig’ work nor did it term it as ‘moonlighting’.
The latest move comes at a time when debate around moonlighting has grabbed headlines. Put simply, moonlighting refers to employees taking up side gigs to work on more than one job at a time.
During the company’s Q2 earnings, Infosys had made it clear that the company does not support moonlighting and that it has fired employees who were into dual employment over the last 12 months.
In an email to employees on Thursday, Infosys said: “Any employee, who wishes to take up gig work, may do so, with the prior consent of their manager and BP-HR, and in their personal time, for establishments that do not compete with Infosys or Infosys’ clients.”
Infosys said it counts on its employees to ensure that this does not impact their ability to work with the company effectively.
“In addition, as per Infosys employment contract, employees may not work in areas when there is an actual or potential conflict of interest or by accepting dual employment,” the company wrote in the email seen by PTI.
As an organisation, Infosys values the ability to continuously learn new skills and gain experience. Infosys said that it is only natural that the company is supportive of employees taking up additional projects as appropriate in their personal time.
However, it said, care needs to be taken to ensure that such projects “comply with the company’s policy for gig working, and do not breach client contracts or otherwise impact the employee’s ability to be effective in their full-time job with Infosys”.
When employees have a discussion with their managers about such projects before taking them up, much of this can be addressed, it said.
In addition, Infosys said it has also created several opportunities for gig working internally–through its very own Accelerate platform that enables managers to list gig work jobs for Infoscions.
“Accelerate allows skill based job matches to recommend the right gigs for employees and incentivise both gig workers and hiring managers. The platform, over the years, has been helping in create richer job variety and more immersive learning for Infoscions,” it said.
Last month, Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji revealed that some 300 employees were fired as the IT services company had no place for any employee who chose to work directly with rivals while being on Wipro payrolls.
During the Q2 earnings’ briefing, Infosys CEO Salil Parekh had said the company does not support dual employment.
“We don’t support dual employment… if we found… in the past, employee doing blatant work in two specific companies where there is a confidentiality issue, we have let go of them in the last 12 months,” Parekh had said.
Infosys is among the companies which have taken a strong stance on moonlighting. It had earlier shot off a missive to its employees asserting that moonlighting is not permitted, and warned that any violation of contract clauses will trigger disciplinary action “which could even lead to termination of employment”.
“No two timing – no moonlighting!” the company had said.
The issue of moonlighting emerged as a big talking point after Rishad Premji flagged the issue. Premji had taken to Twitter to highlight the issue saying: “There is a lot of chatter about people moonlighting in the tech industry. This is cheating – plain and simple.”
HCL Technologies, too, has weighed into the issue of moonlighting and has said it does not approve of dual employment, although it hastened to add that the issue is not a major one within the company.
Infosys’ Parekh, during Q2 earnings’ conference, had also said where gig opportunities in the external environment is concerned, Infosys supports aspirations of employees to learn beyond their work but after prior approval of manager has been obtained.
“We will support them to work on certain gig projects after the prior approval of the managers. We are also developing more comprehensive policies for that, while ensuring contractual and confidentiality commitments are fully respected. However to be clear, we do not support dual employment,” he had said.