Hyderabad: Techies outraged over long work hours as IT cos in city flout rules

Hyderabad: Techies outraged over long work hours as IT cos in city flout rules
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Just after the break of seven hours employees are being asked to work again

Hyderabad: Despite the State government urging all companies in the city's IT corridor to reopen, many are still following the remote work system and are not calling employees working from home (WFH). Several companies are allegedly forcing the employees to work long shifts.

A majority of Hyderabad's IT/ITeS employees alleged that the companies are forcing the employees to work long hour shifts. After the break of just seven hours they are being asked to work.

According to the Telangana Shops and Establishment Act, 1988, which says each shift must mandatorily have 12 hours of rest or break. It is claimed that a majority of companies flout this law. Many IT employees have claimed this. M Kumar, a city-based IT employee, said, "the working hours are 14 a day and we are exhausted in this shift. By giving just seven hours of rest the company wants us to log in for the next shift. Moreover, even salaries are paid less than the market standards. In the name of trust salary gets deducted."

Another IT employee, Sandeep, appealed Principal Secretary IT, electronics and communications Jayesh Ranjan to intervene, as there are many issues that IT employees face. "To deal with IT employees' issues a strong IT forum should be formed. Without resolving the issues of techies the government see IT industry as a cash cow and is not worried about the employees' wellbeing and labour laws," he alleged.

Taking it Ranjan, a city-based anti-corruption activist and founder of Forum Against Corruption, Vijay Gopal, also demanded him to resolve this and take necessary action against the employers.

He told The Hans India, "several IT companies based in Mindspace, Phoenix and in Hitec-city force their employees to work in the 10 pm to 7 am shift and expect them to log in again by 2 pm the next day. As per the law, a 12-hours gap during two shifts is mandatory; yet companies go against the law."

He said the State government urges IT employees need to come to office but doesn't really care about whether they will be able to get previous facilities. In IT offices cafeterias are kept closed in the name of Covid restrictions. Companies ask the employees to work in 14-hour shift. How can a human being be able to sit in one place for such a long time with nowhere to go? questions Gopal. Adding to the issues of the employees, the IT hub management has framed new Covid guidelines which prohibit food delivery agents in general. Why should anyone have any confidence to come to office? asks Gopal.

"Either companies must accept seriousness and allow WFH or accept all is well and take a stand and issue strict instructions to offices not to come up with their own protocols and follow only government instructions," he said.

Gopal believes this as failure of the government as its assurance is lacking logical penal provisions and accountability of the management. IT establishments are always flouting laws/norms openly assuming due to investments they will not be reprimanded, and rightly so the government never takes any action against them, thus encouraging their bad behavior, Gopal added.

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