Home-grown IT giant Infosys has now allowed employees to take up “gig jobs” even as the moonlighting debate rages across the IT sector. Moonlighting is the term given to when an organization’s employees take up another job, or a “side gig”, essentially working two jobs at the same time.
Without using the term “moonlighting” even once, the company sent out an email notification to its employees that stated that taking up gig jobs on the side was okay, provided that they have the prior consent of their managers and their ‘gig’ does not compete with Infosys or its clients. The gig, therefore, should not pose any kind of conflict of interest.
In the internal communication sent out to its employees, Infosys also detailed how staff can take up 'gig' work. It is interesting to note that the internal communication does not explicitly say how the company defines ‘gig jobs’.
In the email to employees, sent 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."
"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.
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.
Internal “gig” opportunities
The IT major also said it has also created many opportunities for gig working internally through its Accelerate platform. The platform enables managers to list gig work jobs for Infosys employees.
“Accelerate allows skill-based job matches to recommend the right gigs for employees and incentivise both gig workers as well as hiring managers. The platform, over the years, has been helping in creating a richer job variety and more immersive learning for Infoscions," it said.
Experts believe the step could help the company address challenges of attrition.
Infosys’ previous stance on moonlighting
Infosys had previously made it amply clear that the company does not support moonlighting. They also announced that it has fired employees who were into dual employment over the last 12 months. These announcements were made during the company's Q2 earnings. Infosys CEO Salil Parekh had then said the company does not support dual employment.
"We don't support dual employment... if we found... in the past, employees 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 debate over moonlighting has been the talk of the town with Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji revealing last month that they had fired 300 employees. “The IT services company has no place for any employee who chose to work directly with rivals while being on Wipro payrolls,” Wipro had said.
The issue of moonlighting became a talking point after Premji flagged the issue and took to Twitter to say, "There is a lot of chatter about people moonlighting in the tech industry. This is cheating - plain and simple."
HCL Technologies too weighed into the issue and said it does not approve of dual employment, although it hastened to add that the issue is not a major one within the company.