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Oracle India trims salaries with hour-based payments

Bibhu Ranjan Mishra  |  Bangalore 

The world’s second-largest software products company Oracle is understood to have begun linking the payment of its 20,000-odd employees in India with the productive hours they spend in the company. This has resulted in salary cuts, ranging between 10 and 50 per cent across the board.

Company sources explain that if an employee is a billable resource for 15 days a month, he will be paid in full for that period while for the rest of the period, he is paid a “nominal” amount. Replying to an email query, a company spokesperson in India said: “Oracle does not comment on speculation or rumours.”

The company is also understood to have asked all non-billable employees (those on the bench) to get themselves engaged in internal projects, failing which they can explore opportunities outside the company. It is not, however, clear whether the company is asking the non-billable resources to work for outside companies as contract employees while still on Oracle’s rolls, or to use their non-productive hours to make money for themselves.

Initially implemented for the employees of Oracle Financial Services Software (formerly i-Flex Solutions), Oracle India has reportedly implemented this across all its centres in India.

Oracle India, however, has not communicated this decision to employees in writing. The team leaders and project managers in different centres have been informed about the decision orally.

“They are telling us that while many companies lare aying off employees, Oracle does not want to take such extreme steps. They are saying that once things start improving, we will be back to all the usual compensation and allowances,” said a senior employee of Oracle India on condition of anonymity.

Second quarter results announced last month show that Oracle had been able to maintain its profitability despite nearly flat revenue growth. Oracle’s net income fell half a per cent to $1.27 billion in the second quarter and sales were up 5.5 per cent to $5.6 billion, lower than analyst estimates. Revenues from new software licences, which is an indicator of future sales, were down 3 per cent to $1.6 billion.

Following its acquisition of i-Flex, sources also note that there were plans to lay off all employees of that company, a decision that was scrapped following intervention of Oracle’s management. Oracle feared that the lay-off of all i-Flex employees might suggest the failure of the M&A — an area that has been mastered by the California-headquartered company over the years.

Sources added that Oracle India has cancelled employee travel costs and withdrawn free snacks and food. Despite news that the company has not stopped recruitments in India, freshers who were given offer letters for annual packages of Rs 2.4 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh earlier are now being asked to consider packages of Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 1.8 lakh.

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First Published: Tue, January 06 2009. 00:00 IST