Moonlighting is an “ethical issue”, says Wipro CEO

The company’s CEO said that while small side jobs are okay, working for a competitor is an ethical issue.

Weeks after Wipro fired 300 of its employees for moonlighting, company CEO Thierry Delaporte said Wednesday that while small side jobs were okay, working for a competitor is an “ethical issue “.

With record attrition, Indian IT services companies are facing cost overruns and margin pressures.

Wipro reported a marginal decline in the attrition rate and said it would pay 100% variable pay to 85% of staff.

Last month, Wipro chairman Rishad Premji said some 300 employees had been made redundant because the company had no room for an employee who chose to work directly with rivals while on the payroll. from Wipro.

During Wednesday’s second-quarter earnings press conference, Delaporte said Wipro’s contracts stipulate not to accept side work with a competitor.

While answering a question about the legality or illegality of moonlighting, he said working for rivals is also a conflict of interest.

Employees who commit to the company are expected to “not only dedicate time to Wipro, but also make time for themselves and families,” he said.

“It’s perfectly fine if someone has a little side job here and there. It’s different if you work for a company that is in our environment (business) for example,” said Thierry Delaporte, CEO of Wipro .

“So this (moonlighting) is not a legal issue, it’s an ethical issue. We don’t think it’s fair to have two jobs that have a conflict of interest,” he said. he declared.

He said Wipro respects other companies if they don’t have a problem with moonlighting.

“If other companies have no problem with it, we respect that. But we’re not doing anything new or different – that’s clear to our employees when they join Wipro,” he said.

IT companies are concerned that employees taking on side jobs after normal working hours will affect productivity, lead to conflicts of interest and possible data breaches.

Premji has been a vocal critic of it and recently equated it with “cheating”.

“When I talk about ethics, I’m talking about conflict of interest,” Delaporte said. “A conflict of interest is being in a position where you no longer know if your interests are not mixed. This is an important point.”

“So listen to me, I’m not talking about illegal things. I’m not talking about side jobs. I’m really talking about being in an obvious conflict of interest situation. I think our employees understand that,” a- he declared.

His view echoes that of India’s largest IT services company, TCS, which earlier this week also called moonlighting an “ethical issue”.

TCS, which employs over 6.16 lakh people, however, has not taken any action against anyone.

“We believe moonlighting is an ethical issue and goes against our core values ​​and our culture,” its director of human resources, Milind Lakkad, said on October 10.

Over the past few weeks, IT industry CXOs have offered varying perspectives on the subject of moonlighting. Over the past few months, the IT industry has faced a labor shortage triggered by high demand for services following the increased adoption of digitization following the pandemic.

While some like Tech Mahindra supported the idea of ​​secondary agitations, others like IBM reported concerns about it.

Wipro said Wednesday it onboarded 14,000 new employees in the first six months of fiscal 2022, with a net headcount increase of 605 for the quarter that ended in September. Total headcount at the end of the quarter was 2,59,179.

The churn rate fell slightly to 23% in the September quarter from 23.3% in the prior quarter.

“During the quarter, we followed a strategy focused on hiring entry-level employees, and we will continue to follow this strategy in the next quarter,” Delaporte said.

It also rolled out pay raises and promoted 10,000 employees during the quarter.

Wipro has been one of the top companies where campus hires have faced onboarding delays.

HCL Tech reported a net increase of 8,359 people in the quarter, bringing its total workforce to 219,325. Last quarter, the company added 2,089 employees.

On Monday, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) reported a net increase of 9,840 employees in the quarter and said it expects to onboard around 10,000 to 12,000 over the remainder of the financial year.

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