HCL Tech disapproves of moonlighting, but issue not a big problem within company

HCL Technologies joined the group of Indian IT majors including Wipro, Infosys, and TCS opposing moonlighting by employees.

HCL Tech disapproves of moonlighting, but issue not a big problem within company

Thursday October 13, 2022,

3 min Read

HCL Technologies on Wednesday weighed into the issue of moonlighting that has created quite a stir in the industry, and said while it does not approve of dual employment, the issue is not a major one within the company.

Put simply, moonlighting refers to employees taking up side gigs to work on more than one job at a time.

"Dual employment while working for HCL Tech...we do not approve of that. Everybody who signs up to work for HCL Tech is signing up employment contract which requires exclusivity. The requirements around confidentiality, and non compete... all those provisions that are there we expect our employees to honour those commitments," Ramachandran Sundararajan, Chief People Officer of the company said during the Q2 earnings briefing.

Fortunately, he said, moonlighting has not come up as a big problem within HCL Technologies. "We don't have that as big problem that we have too many people indulging in dual employment. It is not a big problem. We have had one or two stray instances," he said.

To another question, the company said whether it is pay increase in this cycle or managing variable pay even in tough times, the company has stayed on course and stuck to its policy. There has been no change in the company's approach to variable pay or, for that matter, annual compensation review.

The only change in annual compensation review this year has been with regard to top leadership team where compensation has been deferred by a quarter.

The remainder 98% of staff have seen compensation increase in the usual cycle, and there have been no change.

Meanwhile, weeks after Wipro Ltd fired 300 of its employees for moonlighting, the company's CEO Thierry Delaporte on Wednesday said that while little side jobs were fine, working for a competitor is a "question of ethics".

With record-high attrition rates adding to the woes of the Indian IT industry as companies face cost overloads and margin pressures, Wipro reported a marginal dip in attrition rate and said it will pay out 100 per cent variable pay to 85% of the staff.

Last month, Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji revealed that some 300 employees were fired as the IT services company has no place for any employee who chooses to work directly with rivals while being on Wipro payrolls.

The issue of 'moonlighting' emerged as a big talking point after the Wipro chairman 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." Infosys too had shot off a missive to its employees recently asserting that dual employment or '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!" India's second largest IT services company had said in a strong and firm message to employees earlier.

Edited by Megha Reddy