The employees at Infosys, Hyderabad have been paying Rs 500 per month for parking their four-wheelers and Rs 250 a month for two-wheelers, at the Company’s own parking lot. When this practice became known to the public, activists have voiced their disapproval and called it illegal.
In the past the employees have tried to reason with the human resources department, but were reportedly told that the fee was being used to maintain the parking lot, and is charged across all Infosys offices in the country.
Some staff members even approached the labour department only to be told that the matter was not under their purview since the Infosys office was located in the Pocharam special economic zone (SEZ), and therefore should be handled by the SEZ development commissioner.
Most of the 20,000 strong workforce at the Infosys office rely on their own vehicles to reach the workplace since it is located on the outskirts, and difficult to reach by public transport.
According to activists, even if the office lies under the SEZ, the rules of the Shops and Establishments Act will apply to Infosys too. And therefore, this practice will still be considered illegal. In fact, as per a High Court order of 2003, no commercial establishments are allowed to levy parking charges.
Infosys can actually be booked under section 420 of IPC for fleecing their employees and under the relevant SEZ Penal Sections of the SEZ Act and Rules.
However, the IT company has defended itself by saying that the amount deducted from the salaries of its employees towards parking fee actually went into an employees’ welfare trust, which used the funds to maintain the parking facility for the staff. The Company also claims to be levying GST on the parking fee from its staff!
The employees, however, claim they have not received any benefit from the welfare fund till date, and that Rs 250 is deducted from their salaries every month towards this fund over and above the parking fee.