It has been a recurring demand of IT sector employees – to slash the 90-day notice period, which is prevalent in the Indian software sector and curtails career prospects.

This time, they have the collective might of 10,000 engineers – and more are expected to join in - to campaign against the clause. A big band of tech workers has got together seeking the Centre's intervention to bring down the notice period when a person leaves a job, from 90 days to 30 days. In an online campaign on the platform, a movement has been kickstarted to stop companies from insisting on the 90-day notice period.

With the IT industry being one of the few sectors which has recovered faster than the others, software engineers are finding it relatively easy to land jobs. But the big catch is the notice period. Many IT firms insist on a 90-day notice, while those hiring want candidates to join within 30 days. The reason companies insist on a three month notice period is “knowledge transfer or KT” - the hand-holding that takes place between an employee leaving the company and the new employee.

"IT start-ups and lakhs of talented employees are suffering because of the 90-day notice period rule. The clause creates an artificial barrier for people to switch jobs, and therefore it leads to a loss of career opportunities. The same companies that have 90 days as their notice period, expect people to join in less than 30 days which is just not fair," argues Nikesh Jain, the software worker, who floated the campaign.

Many job seekers are not getting interview calls because of the long notice periods, while in some cases, they are forced to resign without having any offer in hand just to make themselves eligible for new jobs. "Imagine the stress and anxiety these people would go through. This 90-day regime is harming the IT industry and needs to be reduced to 30 days," insists the campaign addressed to the Union IT Minister.

According to the Karnataka State IT/ITES Employees Union (KITU), the long notice period has an adverse effect on employees as it restricts their movement and career progression. "This is causing career losses to many as they are unable to freely explore jobs outside their organisations and also take up what is available because of this time clause,'' says Ullas. C, Secretary at KITU.

However, the HR head at a large tech firm pointed out: "It's not that job offers are floating around aplenty in the market now. The fact is, all across the board, employees are trying to hold on to their existing jobs. But there are some who are walking around with job offers and bargaining for increments/promotions or for an easy exit letter without serving adequate notice. Such easy routes do not exist in professional organisations.''

Commenting on the protection of employees' interest in the country, BS Murthy, CEO, Leadership Capital, a CXP hiring firm said, all the labour laws that exist in the country are being dismantled one by one. "Eventually, India's mainstream workforce is moving towards contract labour like in the West. That means, soon all our labour related machinery: Department of Labour, Labour Courts, Ministry of Labour etc will become toothless and won't be able to protect the interest of employees."