Bengaluru, July 2  

The Karnataka labour department has sent a notice to IT giant Infosys and NITES (Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate), the IT employees union, for a joint discussion on July 4, over the non-compete clause added by the IT company in its employment agreements.

A letter by the office of the assistant labour commissioner summoning both the parties read, “to examine and verify the contents of the complaint filed by the employee of your organisation.” Parties are directed to appear in person with necessary original documents on July 4, 3 pm. “Failure to attend the said joint meeting petition shall be decided Ex-party,” the letter said. 

The notice comes as Infosys has abstained from attending the joint meetings called on by the central labour ministry since May. Infosys has missed the previous meetings that were scheduled on May 27, May 16 and April 28. 

Non-compete clause

It was reported earlier that the chief labour commissioner wrote to the labour commissioners of Haryana, Maharashtra, and Karnataka last month, seeking that state governments be informed of the matter in order to take any necessary action.

The Central Labour Ministry had called for the meeting after the Pune-based union NITES had urged the department to intervene for the removal of non-compete clause from employment contracts. The clause restricts ex-employees from working for the same client at rival companies - IBM, TCS, Wipro, Accenture - for at least six months after they leave Infosys. 

However, Infosys had earlier said that “...the clause under discussion is fairly common and standard business practice in employment contracts, in the IT services sector in India.” The IT giant declined to comment on the recent development.