HCL’s policy to recover bonus from employees draws ire

NITES has filed an official complaint against the IT major for trying to get resigning employees to pay back the bonus


HCL Technologies is making headlines for all the wrong reasons. The Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) has been receiving complaints from HCL employees about the IT major’s new Employee Performance Bonus (EPB) policy, which was implemented on January 2 this year. Following receipt of these complaints, the Pune-based labour rights organisation has filed an official complaint against HCL.

The Company reportedly informed its employees that if any of them (offshore staff) quit in the middle of the year, they will have to return the monthly performance bonus they have earned throughout that year, calculated till the last working day.

The offsite employees of HCL are paid this bonus on a monthly basis. The onsite employees who are paid quarterly bonus, will have to forego the bonus for the quarter in which they leave.

It is reported that HCL employees who do not return the bonus as required by the Company will run the risk of having their experience certificate and relieving letter along with other documents and benefits being held back.

The Pune-based NITES maintains that such a recovery of bonus is unfair and unlawful, since it will be next to impossible for any employee to return such a significant amount at the time of leaving, and that too amidst the uncertainties and hardships imposed by the pandemic. It apparently goes against the Payment of Bonus Act too which states that a bonus is a legal right of an employee, even if he or she has resigned, unless and until the concerned employee has committed a grievous fraud or has been violent or has misbehaved or done any harm to the company or employer.

The IT company, however, maintains that it has always been fair to its employees and has always followed lawful HR practices.


  1. Not clear as to whether the Payment of Bonus Act is applicable to this case especially if the employees are drawing monthly salary of more than Rs.21,000/-.

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