IT Services company Wipro has fired 300 employees recently… for moonlighting for the competition. The company employs 250,000 employees in over five dozen nations, and the chairman said Wednesday that the company finds moonlighting for competitors an “act of integrity violation.”
“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 organization 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 a violation of integrity if you are moonlighting in that shape and form.”
The article from TechCrunch does note that quote, “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.”
Why do we care?
Do you have a policy here? Whether you allow moonlighting or not, a business should have a clear position. It’s the confusion I’m advising against.
Is it a competitive perk? Sure, maybe. For a competitor? I know I’d be uncomfortable with that one. Note that the example does include internal approval as a requirement. And thus.. why you need a policy.