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Wipro sacks 300 staffers for working with rival firms on the sly

Wipro Chairman said the company had terminated the services of 300 employees for moonlighting

Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji on Wednesday said the company had sacked as many as 300 employees as they were found to be working a rival firm on the sly as well.

Mr Premji asserted that he stands by his recent comments that moonlighting was a violation of integrity “in its deepest form”.

“The reality is that there are people today working for Wipro and working directly for one of our competitors and we have actually discovered 300 people in the last few months who are doing exactly that,” Mr Premji said speaking at AIMA’s (All India Management Association) National Management Convention.

Asked about the action taken against these employees, Mr Premji, said that their employment had been terminated for an “act of integrity violation”.

The definition of moonlighting itself is about having another job secretively. As part of transparency, individuals can have candid and open conversations around playing in a band or “working on a project over the weekend,” he explained.

“That is an open conversation that the organisation and the individual can make a concerted choice about, on whether that works for them or doesn’t,” he said.

Distinguishing such cases from those where employees secretly worked for competitors, the Wipro chief made it clear “there is no space for someone to work for Wipro and competitor XYZ and they would feel exactly the same way if they were to discover the same situation

Mr Premji had taken to Twitter recently, saying: “There is a lot of chatter about people moonlighting in the tech industry. This is cheating – plain and simple.”

The issue of moonlighting by tech professionals has sparked a debate and there are some such as Tech Mahindra CEO CP Gurnani who tweeted that it is necessary to keep changing with the times and added “I welcome disruption in the ways we work”.

However, Infosys is another company that has come out strongly against moonlighting. It has warned its employees  that dual employment or ‘moonlighting’ is not permitted, and 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 said in a strong and firm message to employees last week.