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A viral tweet explains how Wipro caught its employees moonlighting

New Delhi, October 11, 2022

Taking a tough stand against those involved in moonlighting, IT services giant Wipro sacked 300 employees in September; here's how they caught the moonlighters

The moonlighting incident in September involving workers of IT company Wipro created a flutter over unethical behaviour in the workplace. It caused a stir among employees and employers across sectors in the country. When Wipro discovered that 300 of its employees were concurrently employed by other IT firms, it took a tough stand by firing them and labelling them as "cheaters".

While a debate is going on about whether the practice is unethical or not, the Wipro chief has been receiving hate mail over firing "moonlighters".

On Tuesday, a stock market investor took to Twitter to explain how the company caught the "moonlighters" off-guard, ultimately causing the termination of their services.

What is moonlighting?

Moonlighting refers to working additional shifts or jobs outside one's regular job, usually without the primary employer's knowledge. Companies have opposed the practice claiming that having staff perform multiple jobs impacts their productivity.

Working from home became the norm during the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing employees to take up additional work assignments.

How the moonlighters were caught

Twitter user Rajiv Mehta, a stock market investor, in his viral Twitter thread, said IT professionals who were working from home (WFH) joined other companies that were also in WFH mode. "Same competency, double delivery. Two different laptops, same WiFi, catering to two different clients — all from the comfort of own home, in own hometown," he tweeted.

300 #Wipro employees sacked as they took advantage of work from home and worked parallely with another company.

How #Digital #India has precisely found the culprits is amazing. Kindly read the below article. Fantastic system in place in India.
— Rajiv Mehta (@rajivmehta19) October 10, 2022
He then said, "The most innocent looking, unassuming, always in the background — provident fund contribution" was apparently why these moonlighters were identified.

The government's PF retirement corpus scheme requires employers to deduct a specific amount from employees' salaries and put it as a contribution.

According to the Twitter thread, PF contribution has to be deposited regularly (by the employer), and its violation is a serious offence. This is the link where the documents of the employees are attached digitally. He added, "As all Aadhaar, PAN numbers are taken by banks to open salary account and the same are used to deposit PF… Systems are so beautifully integrated at the backend that it was next to impossible for these moonlighters to create two identities both financially and demographically."

According to him, the PF authorities use a "daily de-duplication algorithm to check if someone has paid double mistakenly," which is how the dual employment was discovered. According to him, the PF authorities use a "daily de-duplication algorithm to check if someone has paid double mistakenly," which is how the dual employment was discovered. "They discovered that there exist accounts of persons with many donors," he wrote.

Although he has not explained how he arrived at this notion or whether he has evidence, his Twitter thread has become viral, with numerous netizens sharing their views on the matter.

[The Business Standard]

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