BENGALURU: Tata Technologies, a subsidiary of Tata Motors, has put nearly 400 employees on furloughs (leave without pay) till December 31, 2020 citing non-availability of projects, a complaint filed by the National IT employees Senate (NITES) with the State Labour Department, Maharashtra last week said.
NITES General Secretary Harpreet Saluja told The New Indian Express that the decision essentially violates the guidelines issued by the Maharashtra government on March 31 directing the companies not to layoff/deduct salaries of the employees in the ongoing COVID pandemic.
"The labour commissioner office has called us and the aggrieved employees for the hearing on July 28," Saluja added.
An internal email sent by the HR team of the Tata Tech to the employees accessed by us had stated "that in the event there are no such projects/assignments as far as your engagement or involvement is concerned as on December 31, 2020 the company shall reserve the right to terminate your employment with immediate effect in accordance with your employment agreement and order."
"You are required to acknowledge that you understand and agree with the contents of the email before 6pm on July 22 2020 of its receipt by replying to email@example.com. In case you don't respond within this time, it will be understood that you have not agreed to the contents of this email," according to the internal e-mail.
The NITES spokesperson added that the employees were told they will be on the payrolls of the company but will not be paid during that period.
A Tata Tech spokesperson has reportedly said that the exercise has been carried out for optimisation of bench resources and that an overwhelming majority of the employees have opted to go on paid/unpaid leaves as it allows them to be on the payroll and avail mediclaim under the current circumstances.
Tata Tech is a company in the Tata Group that provides services in engineering and design, product lifecycle management, manufacturing, product development, and IT service management to automotive and aerospace original equipment manufacturers and their suppliers.
Last week, the Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata said that retrenchment of employees in the ongoing COVID pandemic is not a solution and that the companies will have to change the way of doing business in the post coronavirus world.