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Infosys summoned by Karnataka labour department over non-compete clause issue

The Karnataka Labour Department, on June 21, summoned both Infosys and the IT employees union for a joint meeting on July 4.

July 01, 2022 / 12:07 PM IST
Representative Image

Representative Image

Infosys has now been summoned by the Karnataka government over the complaint of the company including non-compete clauses in its employment agreements for IT and BPO employees. The complaint, sent by the Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) to the Union Labour Ministry, had said that the non-compete clauses are “illegal and arbitrary”.

The Karnataka Labour Department, on June 21, summoned both Infosys and the IT employees union for a joint meeting on July 4 “to examine and verify about the contents of the complaint filed by the employee of your Organisation”. It stated that they are to appear in person with the necessary original documents, and if they do not, the matter will be decided ex parte.

“We believe that now the company wouldn't be able to escape the provisions of Indian Contract Act on jurisdiction grounds and exploitation of employees will be stopped,” NITES President Harpreet Singh Saluja said.

In April, the Pune-based IT employees union wrote to the Labour Ministry as well as the Corporate Affairs Ministry and sought intervention to remove the non-compete clause from employment contracts. As per the employment contract, the non-compete clause states that for six months after leaving the company, the employee cannot work with a customer they engaged within the year before they left the company. Additionally, it said they cannot accept an offer from a named competitor — TCS, Accenture, Cognizant, IBM, and Wipro — if it requires the employee to work with a customer they worked with in the year preceding their exit.