Impact of Holiday Shutdown policy on IT Employees

This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series I, IT employee named Shyam Sundar

We will now talk about various legal fight happening across various union. One of the important disputes which NDLF brought is against holiday shut down policy issue among various IT companies.

What is this Holiday shut down policy and how it impacts employee lives?

In US and European countries, there will be usually long leave during Christmas and Thanks Giving holidays. IT companies ask employees to apply voluntary leave during this period if they are not billed by customers. The employees are forced to apply 5 to 8 days of their annual leave in this period. This is the concept of holiday shut down policy.

This policy is common in many IT companies and almost all IT employees in different companies know about the policy. We will have a closer look on what is the impact this policy going to create in common employee life who stayed in the US or Europe.

People who travelled to onsite will be having annual leave of 10-15 days per year. There will be no sick leave in many of the companies at onsite. Number of leaves in Indian based companies like TCS, Infosys are usually lesser compare to many other American companies. Last year Verizon business unit is taken over by Infosys. As part of this move, American employees working in Verizon will be moved to Infosys. We have seen many American employees don’t want to join Infosys and one of the reason they quoted is annual leave benefits is much lesser in Indian based companies than US based Verizon company (Refer my article on this regards http://new-democrats.com/verizon-infosys-slave-trade-us-employees-worst-affected/,   https://tnlabour.in/it-workers/7445)

How To Make A Good Company Leave Policy - Taskforce HR

 

Many of the IT employees left their family members and travel alone to onsite countries and work there. They come back to India and stay with their family members using the leave accrued once in 2 years. This holiday shut down policy has greater impact on the holiday dreams of onsite employees. As a result of this policy, employees are forced to take 5-8 days leave per year. As a result of this, their quality time once in 2 years with their family members is impacted. For example, say minimum of 5 days leave People may ask why can’t they use the Christmas time to avail their leave and travel to India. The answer to this is flight tickets during Christmas time is usually higher which cannot be afford by many employees.

The problem it caused for employees based out in India is different. India is country with diversified religion. Christmas is not celebrated much by Hindus and Muslims. Hindus want to take more holidays during the time of Diwali or Pongal whereas Muslims want to take more leave during Ramzan or Bakrid. As employees are forced to take leave during this year end shutdowns, these employees not able to take more holidays during their festival time

Some People still feel this is not a big issue. I want to quote famous dialogue in Tamil movie. If I steel 5 paise, 50000 times from 5 lakh people, is it a big crime. The answer derive is really huge and if anyone calculate the answer, they will be amazed to know how corporate functions.

To make this clear, we will have a rough estimation on how much money it is saved as part of holiday shut down policy. It is estimated that nearly 10000 employees at onsite and 20000 employees at offshore will be impacted as part of holiday shut down activity. If we do rough maths with average per day salary at onsite as 180 dollars and average offshore salary as 4000 rupees, the total money saved by larger companies are as follows:

Onsite = 10000 employees * 5 days *180 dollars * 78 (dollar equivalent to Rupees) = 70 crores

Offshore = 20000 employees * 5days * 4000 Rupees = 40 crores

Based on the above assumption, company will save approximately 110 crores year on year as part of this holiday shut down activity. This saving is recursive every year. The savings to the company is obtained by taking from the salary of the employee.

Leave is statutory legal right of every employee. Government is mandating every company to provide annual leaves to employee. Company by adding various policies and forcing employees to take their leaves is against the statutory rights of employees. The main problem is such policy of company does not abide with law of land. As employees are not questioning this act, many companies are forcing employees to avail leaves. In few of the employee cases, they may not have sufficient leave balances pending. This resulted in loss of pay to such employees also.

But the companies are fine tuning this leave policy year on year and have increased year on year targets. They even digitalized this exercise and appoints specialised HR teams to drive and initiate these exercises. The HR officers are also implementing these exercises of organisation and excited about their achievements on reaching the targets. But the reality is HR officers are only SonderKommandos and they never become Nazi German as I explained in other article and the sad reality is HR officers did not accept themselves as SonderKommandos Refer http://new-democrats.com/it-life-fun-or-problems-ii-5/

As part of NDLF union, we have filed 2K petition against one of the leading companies who implement this holiday shut down policy.  We can question issues related to common problems only with the help of the unions. This case is pending in labour office of Kuralagam for the past 2 years. We are sure we will seek legal justice in protecting employee rights.

As follow up on my termination,  all IT unions in India which includes New Democratic Labour Front (NDLF), Forum for IT Employees (FITE), Union of IT & ITES Employees (UNITE), National Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) has extended their solidarity and show their condemn against my illegal retrenchment and retrenchment of Vinodh who is the general secretary of FITE.

We had a chance to interact with leading law firms in US who works for labor issues specific to American employees in the past. They also express the solidarity and they mentioned that they are going to write in International magazines and labor union related magazines about this illegal retrenchment.  I thank for their solidarity and definitely with the help of unity among IT unions, I am sure I will take legal battle against my termination

I was contacted by many IT employees whom I interact in the past and whom I help them during their job crisis. They have a shock on this termination and I am sure they feel companies are superiors as they terminated trade unionist.

Toxic Talk: How Office Gossip Hurts You, Your Colleagues, And Your ...

Many of them has asked this query on what we are going to do and is there any way they can help them. There is a famous movie in Tamil called Velaikaran which talks specific about labour issue and I want to quote that movie here as it has significance. I am sure many of the IT employees are affected by various issues they faced in their day to day life. They are exploited by various issues like sudden job loss, company forcing employees to go on leave, various tortures from HR officers and management etc.  The remedy the movie provided for the workers is gossiping. This is simple remedy told by the movie. Gossip against all the illegal activities happening at the work place. The management intentionally made everything as confidential. People who are affected are not disclosing their pain to others. People feel shame if they get terminated and did not disclose it to their friends, colleagues and family members.

I was given termination letter at 5:00 PM at 3rd Aug. I have written the first part of this series immediately mentioning my termination. I never feel this termination is something I feel to be shamed. I am a victim of illegal act and I have to fight for this injustice act is what I feel after I received this termination. I request IT employees to forward this series to all your friends and colleagues and this way we can gossip our issues in the social media era.  I expect IT employees to do this and that’s the help I am asking from fellow IT employees.

We will talk about success stories of few employees whose jobs are saved by our unions when they face HR calls in their lives

  • Shyam Sundar
Series Navigation<< The Dilemma in Taking up the Legal Fight when you are terminated.IT Companies turning into Unorganized sector – What is in for employees? >>

Permanent link to this article: http://new-democrats.com/impact-of-holiday-shutdown-policy-on-it-employees/

2 comments

    • Eran on August 16, 2020 at 4:00 am
    • Reply

    With decreasing projects this is happening

    • Mohan on August 16, 2020 at 5:22 pm
    • Reply

    Very nice article.
    Union become most relevant and needed as never before in IT industry and in this pnadamic situation.

    Appreciate the great job that you are doing.

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