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Infosys to freeze April wage hike, promotions

By Bibhu Ranjan Mishra in Bangalore
April 17, 2009 09:41 IST
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The impact of the global meltdown has forced India's second largest IT bellwether Infosys Technologies to freeze wage hikes and hiring in new fiscal 2009-10.

The hike, usually given during April every year, is not being given this year, Infosys head of HR, education and research T V Mohandas Pai said here while announcing its Q4 results. "This is perhaps for the second time we are not giving hikes and promotions. We have decided not to give hikes or promotions now. However, we will examine it again later if things improve," he told Business Standard.

In 2002, the company deferred wage hikes for its employees in April in a tough environment that had arisen out of the dot.com bust. However, towards September and October in the same year, the company revisited the decision when the situation improved.

During fiscal 2008-09, the company also effected a cut in the variable pay given to employees as part of their compensation package. The variable pay constitutes about 50 per cent of employees' salary in case of senior level employees. In fiscal 2009, the company gave about 84 per cent variable pay to employees on an average compared to 96 per cent in 2007-08 and 95 per cent in 2006-07.

However, the company had decided to cut the variable pay for the senior management including the board members what the company dubs a 'deep pay cut'. Close to 350 people, including the 11 board members who fall in this category, were given 58 per cent of their variable pay.

"All of us has shared the pain and we have to beat the present situation together. As we believe the leaders have to walk the talk, and the pain has to be taken by more people at the top," said Pai who is also a member on the Infosys' Board.

Meanwhile, the company has decided not to give any hiring guidelines during fiscal 2009-10. Pai said, while the company had decided to abstain from campus recruitments, lateral hiring would be decided based on the business demand. IT companies recruit freshers well in advance anticipating future business flow.

In fiscal 2008-09, Infosys made campus offers to about 20,000 people of which 16,000 will join the company during the present fiscal.

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Bibhu Ranjan Mishra in Bangalore
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