November 28, 2022

IT services giant Wipro has laid off 300 employees in recent months, a senior executive said on Wednesday, turning out to be working overtime for competitors, weighing them down in a practice that has gained momentum around the world as companies incorporate work-from-home standards.

Rashad Premji, president of Wipro, which employs more than 250,000 employees in more than fifteen countries, said at a conference on Wednesday that the company considers competitors’ overtime a “violation of integrity.”

“As part of the transparency, individuals can have frank, open conversations about playing in a band or working on a project over the weekend. This is an open conversation in which the organization and the individual can make a coordinated decision, about whether or not it suits them,” he said.

But, “there is no space for someone to work for Wipro and a competitor XYZ and they would feel exactly the same way if they discovered the same situation. That’s what I meant…so I support what I said…I think it’s a breach of integrity if you work in that shape and form.”

A growing number of white-collar employees, spanning from technology to the banking industries, have quietly taken a second job — in some cases, a third job — where they hedge against concerns about layoffs, or take advantage of less accountability while working from home.

Some startups are adopting overtime as an advantage. Swiggy, India’s most valuable food delivery startup, told employees last month that they could take on a second job without pay or economic considerations after obtaining internal approval.

Bengaluru-based fintech startup Slice last year offered new hires a three-day week at 80% of the current market rate. The startup said the employment agreement allowed individuals to get a second job.

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