Pune-based employee union for IT/ITes firms Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) has filed a complaint with the Labour Commissioner’s office in Pune to take legal action against Tata Technologies, Hinjewadi, Pune. Harpreet Saluja, President, NITES, said they have received several complaints from employees of Tata Technologies, Hinjewadi, Pune on being “illegally terminated under the pretext of maintaining the business’s profitability during the pandemic.”
Saluja explained that the IT firm had put around 400 employees on leave in June 2020, which essentially meant that they were on the rolls of the firm and had access to corporate insurance but would not get their monthly compensation. These employees continued to be on leave without pay till 31 December 2020. “IT firms such as Tata Technologies fall under the purview of The Industrial Disputes Act and the Shops and Establishments Act, where there is no concept of furlough, making it illegal,” Saluja told Financial Express Online.
On March 1, Saluja said around 800-1000 employees received an email of termination. Financial Express Online has a copy of the firm’s email to one of the employees who requested anonymity.
“The company has failed to pay the salary of these employees for the last eight months. Because of this illegal termination initiated on 01st March 2021, more than 800 employees are now at risk. The company has violated Maharashtra state Government’s directions, rules, and regulations issued on 31st March 2020 and other statutory labor laws,” wrote NITES in its complaint to the Labour Commissioner, Pune.
“We expect state/central government authorities to update us with a framework to tackle such a situation….We expect related authorities to take strict measures and set an example to avoid such insensitive behavior towards employees in the future,” the letter stated.
Tata Technologies refuted the claims about terminating 800 employees. “Based on our discussions with a section of our employees, who were already on the bench, they had opted to proceed on paid leave followed by unpaid leave for some time. However, they continued to be on the rolls of the Company and were also covered under the Company’s health insurance policy along with their immediate family members during this phase,” said the company’s spokesperson.
He added, “We were successful in redeploying nearly 18% of this talent pool in projects that came through the year since then. However, following the passage of significant time, we are culminating our relationship with the remaining set of these employees while adhering to all statutory norms.”