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Employees at an Indian sports tech startup face a $1,200 fine if they contact staff who are on vacation

Illustration shows Indian flag, Dream11 and MPL logosDream Sports operates the Dream11 fantasy sports platform.


  • India’s Dream Sports requires its employees to take a week off and “unplug” every year. 
  • Any employee who contacts vacationing staff faces a $1,200 fine.
  • Like other companies with vacation benefits, Dream Sports wants staff to take time off work — even amid a labor shortage.

An Indian tech startup has found a way to ensure employees are really disconnected from their work devices on their days off — it imposes a fine of $1,200 on staff who contact vacationing colleagues.

Dream Sports, a Mumbai-based tech company that runs fantasy sports platform Dream11, told CNBC in an interview published on December 26 that it requires its employees to take a week off and “unplug” from the company’s system every year. 

And if anyone contacts staff during their time off, they would be fined about $1,200, said Harsh Jain, Dream Sports co-founder and CEO. The company was valued at $8 billion in late 2021. 

“Once a year, for one week, you’re kicked out of the system,” Jain told CNBC. “You don’t have Slack, emails, and calls.”

That helps the employee on vacation to have a week of uninterrupted break, and it also “helps the business to know whether we’re dependent on anyone,” he said.

Dream Sports employees are abiding by the policy so far. “No one wants to be that jerk who called someone who was on unplug,” COO and co-founder Bhavit Sheth told CNBC.

The startup’s policy echoes similar ones by larger companies to encourage staff to take time off work, amid a tight labor market.

In May last year, accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers announced it will close its US and Mexico offices for two weeks a year, to let staff recharge. In the same month, Goldman Sachs implemented a scheme that allows senior bankers to take an unlimited number of vacation days.

Dream Sports did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

Read the original article on Business Insider