TCS wasn't kidding when it ordered staff back to office

TCS employees cry foul over reduced wage hikes due to non-compliance with return-to-office norms. (Photo: Mint)
TCS employees cry foul over reduced wage hikes due to non-compliance with return-to-office norms. (Photo: Mint)


  • TCS employees who have not complied with work-from-office norms have received lower salary hikes compared to those who have been disciplined while attending office, Mint has learnt

Bengaluru: Showing up infrequently at office comes with a price, employees of Tata Consultancy Services are discovering the hard way, after receiving lower pay hikes than their colleagues who dutifully turn up at their desks.

TCS assessed office attendance, among other metrics, before rolling out annual wage hikes to over 600,000 employees earlier this week, five employees at India's largest private sector employer said. This also makes TCS potentially the first to use office check-in as one of the metrics to determine pay hikes.

Three of these employees said they had received a lower salary band compared to colleagues who attended office regularly, despite their overall performance being at par.

When giving out salary hikes, TCS clubs its staff across four salary bands. Last year, employees under Band A got pay hikes over 7%, the highest increment, while employees under Band D saw little to no change.

On Monday, TCS informed its staff how they had fared while clubbing employees under the four bands. This will be followed by each employee getting an official letter detailing the salary hike.

“When I asked my manager, he asked me to wait for the increment letter and said that I could have been given a lower band because of non-compliance to RTO (return to office) norms," said the first employee.

“I got a 4.1 IPF and yet got a Band C," said a second employee, referring to TCS's use of individual performance factor (IPF) during assessments. Until last year, a rating above 4 would bring the employee in Band A, leading to a pay hike of over 7%.

“While the salary hike depends on our performance and is the decision of the manager, non-compliance with work-from-office norms has affected the hikes," said a second employee.

“Employees have faced reduced wage hikes because of not attending office for enough days," said a third executive.

All three employees acknowledged being at the office less than three days a week.

Mint could not independently ascertain the number of employees who saw a reduced salary hike because they continued to work from home. However, a fourth executive said such employees are a “minority of a minority."

An email sent to TCS seeking comment went unanswered.

Also Read: TCS beats street expectations, but key growth metrics miss target

To be sure, TCS's decision to use this metric was not arbitrary. A fifth executive said the company has been nudging its staff for over 15 months to return to office.

In February last year, TCS first asked employees to turn up in office at least thrice a week. In January this year, employees were told to work from the office five days a week.

“The senior management, led by the CEO and COO and CHRO, have patiently tried to explain to the employees why they need to start coming to the office as it helps many understand the culture of an organization," said the fifth executive. “Importantly, because of the rising cybersecurity risks, we want employees to work from secure workstations."

Earlier this year, TCS warned employees that failure to return to office by March would impact their appraisals and performance reports, according to a company's memo to its staff, Mint reported on 9 February.

Last week, TCS announced its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings, even as it ended with 6,01,546 employees at the end of March, 13,249 less than at the beginning of the last fiscal year, making it the first time in two decades the company ended with a smaller workforce.

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