No Moonlighting! You have to respect the contract

‘If an employee has a contract with the employer that he cannot moonlight, you should honour that contract.’

Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar waded into the ‘moonlighting’ controversy last month by declaring that companies preventing their employees from ‘consulting for other firms’ are ‘doomed to fail’. The minister’s views came days after Wipro dismissed 300 employees for ‘moonlighting’ for rival companies.

In a conversation with Shobha Warrier/Rediff.com, the minister clarifies what he said:

You shocked industry by supporting moonlighting. Why did you say this was the future of work?

My view is very clear. If an employee has a contract with the employer that he cannot moonlight, you should honour that contract. There is absolutely no doubt about that.

If the contract says you cannot work for another competing company, you have to honour that. You have to respect the contract.

However, I said today a lot of young technology professionals and young engineers working in companies are bitten by the bug of entrepreneurship. So, the companies should recognise that individuals are going to become employee entrepreneurs.

They also will look at starting their own enterprises. Instead of suppressing that, the companies should recognise entrepreneurship.

This is what I suggested. I never said that I am happy with people working for Wipro while moonlighting for TCS. That is unethical. Violation of the contract is absolutely not permissible.

The future workforce model will be where groups of individuals work as consultants and design products for various companies as collaborative groups. They may do that for five different companies at the same time too.

Don’t miss the Rajeev Chandrashekhar Interview on Wednesday!

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com

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