Tuesday, November 29, 2016

No cold-calling please: How hiring practices can be an antitrust violation

Skilled employees and capital are the two crucial components for a successful business. An employer’s desire to retain top talent is driven by the fact that it is hard to find outstanding performers in today’s competitive market. Employers retain employees by contractual obligations, specials perks or no-poaching agreements with competitors. A cold war has been brewing between domestic airlines on rampant poaching of pilots. Last year, over 60 pilots of Jet Airways and Air India were poached by IndiGo. Air India approached the CCI against IndiGo for indulging in a predatory recruitment of trained pilots. The CCI, however, rejected the complaint summarily, terming it as ‘employment issue’. It observed that there is no bar on any airline from recruiting pilots belonging to other airlines. But the ministry of civil aviation is contemplating to put in place an ‘anti-poaching’ arrangement, requiring airlines to give an ‘informal commitment’ against poaching of cabin crew, pilots.
Does an arrangement between employers not to hire each other’s employees restrict competition in labour market and is against free market principles? The answer lies in competition laws.
29/11/16 Vaibhav Choukse/The Financial Express