Tata Consultancy Services has issued transfer notices to nearly 2,000 associate employees, giving them only two weeks to join at the new location.

According to transfer notices reviewed by businessline, TCS has also asked employees to arrange for their travel and accommodation on their own and seek reimbursement at a later date. Employees alleged that those who resisted the transfer are facing action from the IT firm, which has presently locked out these employees from the office systems.

The IT labour association, Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES), received complaints from 180 associates. Over 1,500 employees do not wish to comply with the transfer notice, according to NITES.

‘Clear tactic’

NITES spokesperson Harpreet Singh Saluja said that this is a clear downsizing tactic. “The employees who agreed to the transfer to new locations are sitting idle with no new projects. TCS argued that the transfers were needed for project requirements. TCS does not want to lay off employees because they would have to pay a retrenchment fee.”

A source at TCS told businessline that these transfers are part of a routine exercise that associates have to undergo during their training period. Most of these associates who have been served transfer notice have only one to two years of work experience, according to NITES.

TCS declined to comment on businessline’s detailed questionnaire on the matter.

The move comes after TCS ended the work-from-home practise from October onwards.

As the Indian IT sector faces a tough macro environment, freshers are bearing the brunt as IT firms have slowed down campus recruitment.

businessline was the first to report on the fact that the tough macroeconomic environment and the rise of AI are going to make working conditions more sordid for employees in IT firms. IT firms have not only reduced recruitment but also made work from the office mandatory, hoping to increase the efficiency of their existing bench as projects dry up.

Recently, complaints were filed against TCS for delaying the onboarding of recruits. The Maharashtra Labour Ministry had summoned TCS officials on November 2, but representatives from the company did not show up for the hearing on this matter.

Commenting on the overall hiring trends, Krishna Vij, Business Head, IT Staffing, Teamlease, said, “Due to the economic slowdown and decrease in demand, companies are grappling with challenges such as evolving deal structures, margin pressures, and uncertainty, limiting strategic options for talent acquisition. The projected year-end headcount is expected to be lower than the initial count, prompting consideration of alternative talent strategies such as staffing and gig employment, alongside the adoption of productivity-enhancing technologies.”

“Many companies have revised revenue projections downward for upcoming quarters. A rebound in hiring activity by prominent IT services companies is unlikely before FY25, with a cautious outlook persisting. Major IT services firms expect to hire between 60,000 and 90,000 net employees, indicating a 40% decrease in hiring in the current fiscal year,” Vij added.