Wipro sacking 300 employees for ‘Moonlighting’ may be old news but its ripple effects are still visible. The September incident that caused a stir in the IT industry also raised some important questions on the ethical and legal aspects of this trending corporate culture. While debates continue on this side hustle, all eyes are now on the question – how did Wipro find out about ‘Moonlighting?’
As experts weigh in on the possible ways of detecting Moonlighting, Twitter users have some theories to add to the ‘moonlighting’ conspiracies.
Moonlighting at Wipro – A Recap
'Moonlighting' typically means having another job apart from your primary one, usually without the primary employer’s knowledge. While many company contracts prohibit the employees from contributing at another place, such practices often go unnoticed due to various reasons.
The COVID-19 pandemic added to the moonlighting woes as remote work culture became popular.
When Wipro’s Chairman Rishad Premji termed the practice a case of ‘cheating,’ eyeballs gazed at the IT industry as the ripple effects of this statement were witnessed when the company fired its 300 employees. But this didn’t stop here. What followed was other IT giants like Infosys too joining the heated debate and sending out warnings to its employees stating, “No two-timing, no moonlighting.”
How Wipro Found Out About Moonlighting?
Till date, Wipro has not officially confirmed how it found about moonlighting. It simply clarified its stand on the same and sacked its employees but never discussed how it discovered the alleged cases. But Twitterati is abuzz with theories and conspiracies on how Wipro found about moonlighting.
A Twitter user, Rajiv Mehta has explained the possible way of finding about moonlighting. The stock market investor in his viral Twitter thread explains how the ‘humble-looking’ PF account helped discover the two or more timing of Wipro employees. It reads, “In both networks/ jobs performing exceedingly well - just to avoid suspicion. It was impossible to catch them. Then who caught them? The most innocent looking, unassuming, always in the background - Provident Fund Contribution.”
*The humble looking PF Office helps to detect Moonlighting (serving more than one employer at a time) by IT workers*— Rajiv Mehta (@rajivmehta19) October 10, 2022
What is this?
300 people got fired because of this?
According to the viral Twitter thread on moonlighting, the PF contribution has to be deposited regularly and usually, its violations are taken as a serious offence. “As all aadhar, PAN numbers are taken by banks to open salary account, same are used to deposit PF, same are required by companies to do back ground check,” adding that it is impossible for employees to create two identities both financially and demographically.
As per the stock broker, the PF runs a “daily de-duplication algorithm” in order to check if someone has paid double. And this is exactly how Wipro found out about moonlighting, as per the Twitter thread. “They found out that there are accounts of individuals, where contributors are multiple. This was reported to companies, and the entire Bhanumati ka kunaba came down crashing,” it adds.
While this Tweet has gone viral, it is not the only one with a theory of how Wipro found out about moonlighting. Another Twitter user has raised a question if it is possible to detect moonlighting from form 26AS, which is also a confidential document.
Wipro detected through form 26as that around 300 of their employees were cheating on them by working in parallel with competitors infy, TCS, HCl tech etc. in the name of work from home!— Dr Dhiman Bhattacharya 🇮🇳 🇮🇳 🇮🇳 (@DrdhimanBhatta1) September 22, 2022
Is it really possible to detect through form 26as?
Any tax consultant here?
While several theories are being derived, none of these tweets have really been able to explain how they arrived at this perspective and if they have any proofs to validate the same. As people wait for answers from Wipro, conspiracies on moonlighting continue.