NITES files complaint, Infosys defends non-compete clause

The Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate wants Infosys to remove the clause that prevents employees from working for its competitors for six months after quitting

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A non-compete clause imposed on employees of Infosys has grabbed headlines recently. This clause prevents Infosys staff from working for any of its competitors for six months after they quit Infosys. According to the Company, it is a justified clause to protect the Company’s interests and widely used by organisations, and that it does not prevent employees from moving to other jobs.

That means, no employees who leave Infosys can take up an offer from Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Accenture, IBM or Cognizant until six months after they quit.

Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) union has filed a complaint against the IT major and has sought that the clause be removed.

However, Infosys maintains that the clause is not unheard of and that it is widely used by businesses worldwide to safeguard confidential information and the interests of the organisation, its projects and clients.

As per the clause, Infosys staff cannot join the companies of any of the clients or customers they have worked for in the year before termination of their services with Infosys.

The Union which fights for the rights of professionals associated with the information technology sector, maintains that this clause adversely affects the employees’ opportunities to obtain a job and earn an income to take care of their families. Therefore, it has lodged a formal complaint arguing that the clause violates Section 27 of the Contract Act.

The IT sector has been facing high levels of attrition for a while now amidst the ongoing talent war. Thousands of employees have quit their jobs in the last couple of months, to take up better offers. This clause by Infosys clearly appears to be a desperate attempt to check attrition.

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