Moonlighting gets a strong backer in Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar | The Financial Express

Moonlighting gets a strong backer in Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Chandrasekhar said the days when employees signed up with big tech majors and spent their lives on the job are long gone.

Moonlighting gets a strong backer in Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar
Earlier this week, Wipro chairman Rishad Premji, who has been a vocal critic of moonlighting, had said the company has no place for any employee who chooses to work directly with rivals while being on Wipro payrolls. (IE)

At a time when Wipro has sacked 300 employees for moonlighting and most IT firms have voiced their opposition to such practices by staff members, minister of state for IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar has supported the practice, saying companies should not put a lid on employees’ dreams. However, the minister said moonlighting should not be in violation of any contractual obligations.

Chandrasekhar said the days when employees signed up with big tech majors and spent their lives on the job are long gone. “Today’s youngsters have every sense of confidence and purpose about wanting to monetise, create more values out of his or her own skills. So, the efforts of companies that want to pin their employees down and say that you should not work on your own startup or consulting are doomed to fail exercise,” he said while addressing the 9th Annual Forum 2022 of the Public Affairs Forum of India, on Friday.

He said this is the age of employee-entrepreneurs and corporates and companies must understand there has been a structural shift in the minds and attitudes of the young Indian tech workforce.

Also read: Wipro sacks 300 employees for moonlighting

The minister said, “There is a shift in our workforce, there is a shift in the psychology, temperament, confidence of young Indians, and companies and entrepreneurs who recognise this will succeed.”

“Any captive models will fade. Employers expect employees to be entrepreneurial while serving them. The same people can apply it personally to themselves. A time will come where there will be a community of product builders who will divide their time on multiple projects. Just like lawyers or consultants do. This is the future of work,” Chandrasekhar said.

Earlier this week, Wipro chairman Rishad Premji, who has been a vocal critic of moonlighting, had said the company has no place for any employee who chooses to work directly with rivals while being on Wipro payrolls.

Last week, Infosys also warned its employees against moonlighting emphasising that double employment was not permitted in the company. IBM India has also called it out as an unethical practice.

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IT companies are concerned that practice of having another job outside of primary employment will affect productivity, lead to conflicts of interest and possible data breaches.

However, not all are opposed. CP Gurnani, CEO, Tech Mahindra, had tweeted recently that it is necessary to keep changing with the times and said, “I welcome disruption in the ways we work.”

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