The controversies surrounding layoffs at Tata Consultancy Services - India's biggest outsourcer - seem to be increasing by the day. A retrenched female employee in Chennai has allegedly posted a secretly-recorded exit interview with HR managers on a Facebook page called "We are against TCS LayOff".
In the alleged recording, an HR official is heard telling the employee that she is not being branded as an "underperfomer", but goes on to say that "performance rating, scalability to next role and skill sets" are some of the reasons for her layoff. (Note: NDTV cannot verify the genuineness of the recordings)
"We would like to retain our As and Bs... they have done more than the guys who have got a C," the HR manager is heard telling the employee, who had notched successive "C" ratings ('meets expectations') in her appraisals.
Many other employees, who claim to have been sacked by the company, have uploaded their interviews on the Facebook page. An assistant system consultant, who was posted at an offshore location for a Fortune 500 client, says he stuck with TCS for 10 years because the company provided "career stability and job security".
Layoffs at TCS have become a big talking point in the IT industry that employs over 30 lakh people - nearly one quarter of total private sector jobs in the organised sector.
Sources in the IT industry say the Facebook posts are by former disgruntled employees from different firms who were fired for being poor performers. Sources in the industry also said that the layoffs at TCS are no more in number than in the last few years.
On Monday, a TCS official told NDTV, "Workforce optimisation is a continuous process and this leads to some amount of involuntary attrition...there is nothing out of the ordinary. Only 1 per cent to 1.5 per cent of employees will be impacted." TCS employed 3.10 lakh people as of September 30, 2014. (Read)
Most of the employees being laid off seem to be in the mid-management level with many years of experience. In the exit interview recording, the HR is heard saying, "Everyone is supposed to ensure that pyramid has to be made."
Analysts say the number of employees at the bottom of the pyramid in the IT industry has gone down over the years because of slowing growth, but employees at the mid and top level swelled as the average age of employees rose. It is for this reason that the company is simultaneously hiring fresh graduates and firing those with many years of experience, they say. (Read the full story here)
"People get promoted very fast often at the cost of capability and maturity because of the fear of attrition. With growth rates down, in the teens, obviously the model needs to change. Many in the middle in the 10-15 year experience band would be redundant and very high cost," said former Infosys director TV Mohandas Pai in an interview to The News Minute. (Read)
Those asked to leave are being offered a month's notice, in which they need not come to work, as well as two months' of gross salary as severance pay. Many analysts say this is par for the course in the private sector.
TCS management is likely to comment on the issue on January 15, when the company will report its December quarter earnings.