IT companies flouting 8-hr work rule: Techies

IT companies flouting 8-hr work rule: Techies
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Highlights

Techies lament that their companies fail to follow ‘8-hour work rule’ and the Forum of IT Professionals accepts the claim. Any IT employee has to spend 8 to 13 hours in a day at work. Disgusted by long working hours, an employee claims that she lacks time to spend personal time with her family.

Hyderabad: Techies lament that their companies fail to follow '8-hour work rule' and the Forum of IT Professionals accepts the claim. Any IT employee has to spend 8 to 13 hours in a day at work. Disgusted by long working hours, an employee claims that she lacks time to spend personal time with her family.

"If I request permission from the manager to leave early a day, the manager asks me to go and login from home, and if that is the case, then what makes sense of taking permission," says Vinay, a techie from Cognizant.

The Forum against Corruption has recently filed a PIL against several IT companies, including Accenture and Cognizant. The same PIL also reflects against the state's labour department. The Telangana High Court has given the firms a 4-week time to respond to the petitioners.

Whereas, the Telangana government has already issued a Government Order (GO) in 2002, which allowed IT companies to bypass labor laws of Telangana Shops and Establishments Act of 1988, in order to encourage more IT firms to set up their offices in the state.

A total of six sections were allowed to be bypassed, which included opening and closing hours, daily and weekly working hours, holidays and provisions to protect an employee in case of termination of service. Since then, this GO has been given extension, and the last extension was given in 2019, for another two years.

The PIL now aims to change this provision given to the IT firms, and allow the firms to follow the rules as mandated by the Telangana Shops and Establishments Act. The PIL is expected to be heard in October.

Speaking on 8-hour Work Rule, Santosh Kumar, IT professional, said, "I have been in the IT sector since the last 10 years, but never knew the rules. Previously, we had a nine-hour shift, but then it was made 10 hours and there was never any overtime (OT) paid to us."

Praveen, general secretary at Forum for IT Professionals said that, "There is a need for creating awareness regarding the rights of employees, so that people can fight for themselves. The long working hours and the company's taxi policy impacted personal wellbeing of the employees, as they had to spend more than 12 hours for the company."

The office taxi policy is such that one has to be ready two hours before the shift begins. So, if the shift starts at 10.00 am, one has to be ready by 8.00 am because that's when the cab comes and if you choose to use your own transport, the firm won't pay your transportation charges," he said.

Mrudula says she found herself losing close to 5 to 6 hours a day just for commuting. "The shift ends at 7.00 pm and by the time one reaches home it is 10.00 pm. There is nothing like a personal life. My spouse too is an IT employee. I quit the job as I was putting in all these hours for peanuts," she said.

By Vasavi Kaleru & Avinash Bhingharde

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