According to media reports, India’s second-largest IT major Infosys didn’t appear again before Labour Commissioner Central, Delhi for a joint discussion with NITES.
This is the second time in two months that Infosys failed to appear before Labour Commissioner Central after notice from Labour Ministry on the non-complete clause.
In the case of a non-compete clause, the Ministry of Labour & Employment had issued a notice to Infosys Group Head-HR, Krish Shankar, and Harpreet Singh Saluja, President of NITES to have a joint discussion before the Chief Labour Commissioner in New Delhi on April 28.
But IT Major, Infosys executive failed to appear before the Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) in New Delhi on April 28 for a joint discussion with a Pune-based IT labour union NITES regarding a controversial non-compete clause in its offer letters.
The next joint discussion that was earlier scheduled for May 16 was postponed for a day (May 17) on account of a public holiday due to Buddha Purnima.
NITES appeared on May 17, 2022 and according to the statement by IT Union, it has submitted supporting evidence against Infosys to the authorities for further action.
“We have apprised Hon’ble Labour Ministry that the non-compete agreement is illegal and the Indian Contract law and Supreme court judgements are clear regarding the same,” NITES said in a statement.
The next date for further joint discussion is scheduled for May 26, 2022.
What is the non-compete clause?
As per the agreement, Infosys has a non-compete clause in the offer letters which restricts the employees who resign from the company can’t work with the ‘named competitors such as Tata Consultancy Services, IBM, Cognizant, Wipro, and Accenture’ for 6 months if the new job involves working with a customer with whom the employee has worked in the preceding 12 months during his/her stint at Infosys.
Infosys had said, “These are fully disclosed to all job aspirants before they decide to join Infosys, and do not have the effect of preventing employees from joining other organizations for career growth and aspirations.”
“It is a “standard business practice” for employment contracts to include “controls of reasonable scope and duration to protect the confidentiality of information, customer connection, and other legitimate business interests,” It had said in clarification.
NITES president Harpreet Saluja had said, “The restriction contained in the Employment letter which is mentioned above is clearly in restraint of trade and therefore illegal under section 27 of the Contract Act. It is not seeking to enforce the negative covenant during the term of employment of the employee but after the termination of service.”