Remember how Trump imposed restrictions on H1-B visa that allows employers in the US to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations? Well, global companies had to find a way to keep working in the United States. The Trump administration asked global companies to bring in more investments and hire American workers. Infosys too ramped up the hiring of American workers
Infosys paid Americans to do nothing:
As per The Verge, Infosys, too, has increased its recruiting of Americans. Yet, many of those young workers employed by the IT software major found themselves doing nothing and getting paid handsomely.
There was actually a situation of disguised employment at the IT company. According to The Verge, when Infosys has more employees than it needs for its clients, the spare employees end up on the “bench” and are effectively paid to do nothing.
For Josh, an American who worked remotely during the Pandemic, being on the “bench” had its own perks. He said, “I ended up playing a lot of video games.”
Josh further explained that being on the “bench” turned difficult for him for reasons he couldn’t explain to his family or friends. He said, “It was really hard to explain to them why I felt like it was a bad thing.” He added, “They were just like a ‘Well, you’re getting paid to do nothing, how could that be bad? That sounds like a dream job.'”
Stuart, another Infosys employee in the US, was hired as a business analyst by Infosys, which “paid him to attend a short-term training programme to learn how to be one”. Yet, Stuart was promptly put on the “bench”. Stuart said, “I now have nominally two years of experience in IT, but I definitely don’t have two years of business analyst experience. People don’t view me as having enough experience.”
Infosys may continue to employ Americans:
In September 2020, Infosys announced plans to hire 12,000 American workers over the next two years and brought its recruitment commitments in the country to 25,000 over a period of five years. In 2017 too, the global IT company had committed to hiring 10,000 American workers over two years and had then exceeded its target by generating 13,000 jobs.
Infosys had relied on the H1-B visas for three straight decades and the system had come under siege when Trump promulgated new rules in 2020 targeting the visa programme. Yet, employing Americans and placating the US government brought in tax breaks and subsidies for the IT company. This is why the company may continue its policy of hiring Americans even though a new administration has come to power in the country.
The Verge report stated, “In Indiana, Infosys’ planned headquarters granted it $101.8 million in subsidies, one of the largest incentive packages in the state’s history. And in Connecticut, a proposed smaller 1,000-person headquarters gained the company up to $14 million in subsidies, with the final amount conditional on hiring all 1,000 workers.”
Infosys’ President Ravi Kumar told The Verge, “We are continuing to do what we are doing in spite of the fact that there is a new administration in the US.”
Read more: “Nothing wrong with Indians going abroad”, N Murthy explains Infosys’ miserable work standards
Infosys has therefore spent a lot of money on hiring American workers. However, hiring such workers has not really added any productivity to the company’s profile. The money spent in hiring Americans should have ideally gone to Indian workers, who actually add value to Infosys. Infosys is a mass recruiter and has been a popular name in the IT sector for decades, but with the kind of news coming out, it seems that Infosys may be going downhill from here.