If clearing an interview and getting a job offer is like a knight’s heroic journey to a remote castle nestled on a hillside, the employment terms might sometimes feel like a snake-laden moat in front of the castle doors.
Take Infosys, for instance. Successful candidates who receive a job offer from one of India’s biggest information technology (IT) companies are asked to sign an employment contract that includes a non-compete clause. The clause restricts them from joining rivals like TCS, Accenture, IBM, Cognizant, and Wipro for six months after leaving Infosys. It also bars them from working for the same client at a rival company for at least six months.
Infosys’ non-compete clause was in the spotlight in April when a Pune-based IT employees union filed an appeal with India’s labour ministry to remove it. Infosys defended defended Mint Infosys says no-compete clause in offer letter to protect client confidentiality Read more itself, saying a non-compete clause is “common and standard business practice” in the sector with the aim of protecting “critical and sensitive” customer information.
However, a major reason behind the inclusion of such a clause is also the acute talent crunch that India’s IT industry has been facing since the world emerged from the pandemic towards the end of 2021. Large companies are doing whatever they can to retain employees who are seeking greener pastures. Infosys’ attrition rate was nearly 28% nearly 28% The Economic Times Infosys employee attrition rate increased to nearly 28% in Q4 Read more in the quarter ended March 2022, up from ~11% in the same quarter last year. Rival TCS had an attrition rate of over 17% in the March 2022 quarter.
Currently, though, there’s a whirlwind in the labour market, with talks of a “funding winter” brought about by another global economic downturn. Unemployment in India has spiked spiked CMIE Unemployment Rate in India Read more to 8.0%—it was 6.5% just in January—with widespread layoffs reported across sectors. Indian startups, including unicorns like Unacademy, Cars24, Ola, and Meesho, have laid off over 10,000 employees over 10,000 employees Inc42 Indian Startups Layoffs Tracker Read more since January, according to Inc42.
Amidst all this chaos, the world of work has changed in the post-pandemic era.