Wipro has taken a tough stance against employees who moonlight and has fired 300 employees. Wipro chairman Rishad Premji stated that the company discovered 300 people moonlighting and working for rival companies in the last few months, and that such people had no place in the company.
What is moonlighting?
Moonlighting is the practise of working a second job or multiple jobs in addition to one’s full-time job. Moonlighting is the practise of working for another organisation while committing to one’s primary job, usually without the employer’s knowledge. Companies have objected to the practise, claiming that employees who work multiple jobs are less productive.
Following Wipro’s CEO’s remarks about moonlighting, the India IT firm has become somewhat divided. Tata Consultancy Services’ chief operating officer (CFO) NG Subramanian has described it as an ethical issue, while Tech Mahindra CEO CP Gurnani has stated that he may be open to the practise if it allows employees to earn extra money. He also encourages employees to be open and has warned them about the dangers of fraud.
Another major IT firm, Infosys, has warned its employees not to take on a second job without first informing the company. In one of the most recent emails from the HR department to employees, Infosys emphasised that all employees must read their employment contracts before accepting another job. In fact, the company warned employees that if they worked a second job during or after working hours, they would be fired.
The majority of IT firms have hardened their stance against moonlighting and have threatened employees with termination if they are found to be working two jobs.
Moonlighting could be considered cheating if an employee’s contract requires non-compete and single employment.
According to Moneycontriol, Premji said at an All India Management Association event, “If you actually look at the definition of moonlighting, it is having a second job secretly.” Transparency is very important to me. Individuals in organisations can have candid conversations as part of transparency.”
He went on to say that organizations and individuals could make “considered decisions” about second jobs. He reiterated, in reference to the Wipro incident, that current employees working for rival firms are a “complete isolation of integrity in its deepest form.”