GTech, the association of IT companies in Kerala, has categorically said that they won’t allow moonlighting as it is a violation of the contract entered between the employers and employees.

GTech has a member base of 270 companies based in Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram, Infopark in Kochi and Cyberpark in Kozhikode and total employee strength of 1.50 lakh.

“The GTech members feel that moonlighting can’t be permitted at the moment,” according to V Sreekumar, Secretary GTech and Centre Head of Tata Elxsi Ltd. He was making a presentation at the 87 th Rajagiri Round Table Conference on Moonligthing-Emergence of a New Work Culture. 

There were two reasons for taking this policy against moonlighting- One, it is a clear violation of the contracts and offer letters signed and accepted by employees. Secondly, it is a question of ethics, he pointed out.

Matter of ethics

The proportion of employees involved in moonlighting may be too small to affect productivity or efficiency of an enterprise. However, the percentages do not matter as it is a question of ethics. He also pointed out that companies have signed master service agreements and non-disclosure clauses with clients and hence having moonlighting employees on the rolls may put data security and privacy under risk.

The industry leaders urged those who want to work for multiple companies to opt for freelancing. He pointed out that industry view on moonlighting may change with the times and become acceptable. 

Aditya Narayan Mishra, MD & CEO of CIEL, HR, Bengaluru, pointed out that IT employers should legalise moonlighting so long as it doesn’t come into conflict with any of the agreements signed between employee and the company or the company with clients. This will enable employees to work on a passion or interest that is not provided by his full time employment. He also said that there should be clarity on what is acceptable as moonlighting and what is not.

Srinidhi Moodalagiri, Co-Founder of Flippyfinance, a Bangalore startup said the rapid growth of startups in the country had lead to huge requirement of talent and this led to increase in attrition levels of big tech companies. Talent pool did not increase to meet the new requirements. He said that big IT companies should consider moonlighting as an opportunity to use their employees gainfully and earn revenue. 

Panelists stressed the need for greater academia-industry interaction so as to ensure that students get placed in industry based on aptitude and competency. 

Varghese Panthalookaran, Professor at Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology said higher education need to be reoriented to provide entrepreneurial skills development which will equip the youth to take on the uncertainties in career and life.