300 in Wipro fired for moonlighting

Wipro has sacked employees who were involved in moonlighting.

What is Moonlighting?

  • Moonlighting is the term used to describe an individual taking up a second job or multiple other work assignments besides his full-time job.
  • The practice of working for multiple organizations while committing to one primary workplace has been taking place without the employer’s knowledge.
  • Moonlighting has become popular in the IT industry as working from home became a norm during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • This has been opposed by companies as it might affect the employees’ productivity.
  • Companies like Infosys have warned their employees against this practice without letting them know, failing which could result in the termination of the employment.
  • It is believed that moonlighting could cause conflict of interest if the employee is working with multiple rivalling companies.
  • It could also create ethical issues related to non-disclosure, breach of data or confidentiality.
  • There are also concerns that the employees would work directly with the clients and significantly reduce the organizations’ profits.
  • Moonlighting is not a new concept, with employees using it to either earn extra money or follow their passion, improve their skills, expand their network and find more exciting career opportunities.
  • However, moonlighting could be considered cheating if the employee’s contract specifically calls for non-compete and single employment. The is mentioned in majority of conventional employment contracts.
  • Under the Factories Act, 1948, dual employment is banned. However, IT companies are exempt from this rule in several states across India.
  • There is no specific statute concerning moonlighting in the Indian labour laws.
  • Dual employment or overemployment is technically permissible in the US and the UK from a tax perspective. The US tax regime functions based on the idea of self-assessment and voluntary reporting.

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