Cognizant seeks 2 weeks time from Telangana govt over employees’ ‘resignations’

HYDERABAD: IT firm Cognizant today sought two weeks’ time from the Telangana Labour Department to come up with a reply on the issue of “resignations” by some of the employees of the company, a senior official of the department said.

The Forum for IT Employees (FITE) had filed a petition on “layoffs” by the IT giant, alleging that Cognizant was illegally terminating thousands of employees by forcing them to resign.

The State Labour Department today held a meeting with officials of Cognizant and representatives of employees, who are apprehensive about their jobs in the US-based IT firm.

According to Joint Commissioner (Labour), R Chandra Sekharam, eight employees of Cognizant along with representatives of various IT employees unions approached the department expressing apprehensions over job terminations, though none of them have been terminated or issued notices.

The official further said that three of them had resigned with notice period and wanted to rejoin the company.

“Only three people had resigned. They are under notice, while rest of the (five) people, they are apprehensive about their termination. Management sought two weeks’ time to respond to each case. They took the complete list and said they will come back with the status. A meeting will be held after two weeks…May 26,” Chandra Sekharam told PTI after the meeting.

“The eight employees said none of them have issued termination orders so far. And no notice has also been given,” he added.

He said the management assured that they would definitely go through the records of those eight employees and come back with report.

Last week, Cognizant had rolled out a voluntary separation programme for directors, associate VPs and senior VPs, offering them 6-9 months of salary.

The FITE has alleged that IT companies are replacing the highly-paid experienced employees with those with lesser experience and low-pay recruits, which is leading to “illegal terminations”.

It further pointed out that companies are quoting different reasons like poor employee performance or streamlining as per customer demands for these layoffs.
When contacted, a Cognizant spokesperson had said performance reviews are done to ensure that the company has the right employee skill sets, necessary to meet client needs and achieve business goals.

“This process results in changes, including some employees transitioning out of the company. Any actions as the result of this process are performance-based and generally consistent with those we’ve made in previous years,” he had said.

IT companies have been one of the largest recruiters in the country. However, they have warned that increasing automation of processes would lead to a reduction in hiring in coming years.