IT services division Wipro dismisses 300 workers

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A top executive spoke out on Wednesday in response to a practice that has gained traction throughout the world as businesses adopt work-from-home standards and revealed that the IT services major Wipro has fired 300 employees in recent months who were discovered to be moonlighting for rival companies.

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The chairman of Wipro, which has over 250,000 workers across more than 50 countries, Rishad Premji, stated at a conference on Wednesday that the company views moonlighting for rival companies as a “act of integrity breach.”

“As part of transparency, individuals can have candid and open conversations around playing in a band or working on a project over the weekend. 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.

But, “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. That is what I meant…so I do stand by what I said…I do think it is violation of integrity if you are moonlighting in that shape and form.”

A growing number of white-collar workers, spanning from tech to banking industries, have quietly taken up a second job — in some cases, a third — as they hedge against worries about layoffs, or take benefit of lesser accountability while working from home.

Some startups are embracing moonlighting as a perk. Swiggy, India’s most valuable food delivery startup, told employees last month that they can take up a second job for pro-bono or economic considerations after securing an internal approval.

Bengaluru-headquartered fintech startup Slice last year offered new hires a three-day week with salary at 80% of the going market rate. The employment agreement allowed individuals to have a second job, the startup said.

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