Former HCL CEO Vineet Nayar, who recently said moonlighting was unstoppable, on Friday hailed Infosys for allowing employees to take up gig work with prior consent from managers. Nayar said Infosys by taking this move has thrown a challenge to other information technology firms in the industry, where dual employment is now becoming a trend.
Infosys has allowed employees to take up assignments from establishments that do not compete with the company or its clients or pose any potential conflict of interest. This marks a departure from the stand the company had taken on moonlighting just weeks ago when it said it did not back the trend.
Nayar said Infosys, the second largest software services exporter in the country after TCS, saw the moonlighting debate to be an avalanche that was unstoppable and reasonable. “It seems they figured out a way to let employees engage in gig work with prior permissions, thus taming the trend and turning it into a massive advantage for themselves,” he wrote on LinkedIn.
A massive debate has erupted in the IT industry over moonlighting with some calling it “unethical” and “illegal” while others backing the trend saying there is nothing wrong in taking up assignments if a contract with the current company is not violated.
The former HCL CEO said what is smart about Infosys’ response is that they have understood the difference between conflict of interest and gig work. “Both are not the same and have to be dealt with differently,” he said.
Nayar further said that he was sure Infosys employees would be happy that they now have a choice, they can engage in interesting exploratory work, and that their company is a first mover on a new trend. “Infosys will be happy that it gained many points on employee motivation while setting a process to ensure it does not harm its interests,” he added.
By allowing external gigs, the former top executive said, Infosys has thrown a challenge to others in the tech industry “and is a winner on this one”.
“Rest will follow when they had an opportunity to actually lead,” Nayar said.
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