Cognizant terms massive layoffs as 'performance management'
Amidst a furore over mass layoffs at its offices in India, Cognizant said it was undertaking normal performance management and refuted the job cut numbers being reported.
IT services firm Cognizant, which is under fire for laying off employees en masse, said it was undertaking 'normal performance management' and refuted the numbers being shared by employee unions.
Earlier, the Karnataka State IT/ITeS Employees Union (KITU) said it will pursue legal action after receiving complaints from employees who were allegedly laid off or asked to resign after being put on the bench. KITU Secretary Sooraj Nidiyanga was quoted stating that the union initiated legal action against the Nasdaq-listed IT firm after receiving complaints from affected employees. The Union alleged that Cognizant was undertaking mass layoffs after benching 18,000 employees across India. and that employees in cities such as Bengaluru and Chennai were being forced to resign.
“Performance management is a normal process across all companies in the IT industry, including Cognizant. While Cognizant does not comment on rumour and speculation in the marketplace, we would like to clarify that recent third party allegations regarding a specific number of job actions are not accurate, Cognizant continues to hire at all levels in India and globally. Likewise, the company continues to invest heavily in upskilling and reskilling its employees at scale in newer digital technologies," a Cognizant spokesperson said, in a response to ET NOW.
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A few weeks ago, Cognizant offered a voluntary separation package for US employees who move to the bench between May 1-August 31,2020, as it saw fewer opportunities because of the COVID19 pandemic.
Cognizant recently withdrew its 2020 guidance citing the uncertainty arising out of the Covid19 pandemic. Its CEO Brian Humphries recently said they would look at tweaking bench policies. "Against today’s COVID-19 backdrop, we feel that traditional industry bench policies do not adequately address the interest of the impacted employees. Consequently, any employee impacted by demand/supply imbalances may benefit from extended medical coverage and exit packages through the end of the third quarter," he said
Since 2019, Cognizant has seen several top-level exits. In October 2019, the company announced a massive round of job cuts that would impact up to 12,000 employees in the coming months. Cognizant CEO Brian Humphries & CFO Karen McLoughlin said this was part of the company's new strategy called "2020 Fit for Growth Plan.", which would run for two years and will look at ways to simplify work, reduce cost structure and fund investments in businesses that will enable growth.