A digital transformation IT consulting & services company, Happiest Minds Technologies has said moonlighting is unacceptable for the company.
The company has laid off a few employees engaged in dual employment who have been fired over the last 6-12 months. However, the company did not disclose the exact number of layoffs.
In India, as per the Labour Law, if you are fully employed, you cannot have your own business or even work elsewhere. Most private organizations also have policies that prohibit moonlighting and take strict action against employees who are taking up outside second jobs.
Happiest Minds’ Executive Vice Chairman Joseph Anantharaju said, “We have been quite clear with our people that it is something we will not accept… Because when you sign a contract or employment offer, you are agreeing to work only for that company.”
Anantharaju said, “We have had a few and we immediately terminated them because it is a message you want to drive across the company. Even if it is a few hours somewhere… Because there is no way of really ascertaining that.”
“So we have done that. We are clear, you can’t be moonlighting. If you want to do some voluntary activities in unrelated areas… Maybe wish to go teach in a school over the weekend that is different”, Anantharaju added.
Anantharaju further said, “But for us, you have to have all of your time dedicated to Happiest Minds and working out here. That is one of the reasons we have started getting our people back into office.”
“Because once you’re back in office, the scope for a lot of these things is minimal and it can get eliminated and identified very earlier,” he said.
There have been other IT companies that have laid off employees due to moonlighting policy. Previously, Infosys fired a few employees in recent months for moonlighting. However, the company did not disclose the exact number of layoffs.
CEO Salil Parekh said, “If we have found employees doing work in two different companies, where there are confidentiality issues, we have let them go in the last 12 months.”
Wipro also laid off 300 employees who were found working with its competitor companies at the same time employment with Wipro. Wipro chairman Rishad Premji also described moonlighting as “cheating plain and simple.”
Happiest Minds Technologies had about 67 percent of its employees come into the office in the last quarter. The company is planning to increase the number of employees by January 1, 2023.
However, there have been a few companies such as Swiggy and Tech Mahindra that have come out in the favour of moonlighting.