The buzz of moonlighting has awakened the entire IT industry! A few people claim that moonlighting is cheating on your employer. Is this even true? Is moonlighting legal in India? Let’s find out.
The term has entirely taken over the internet after Rishad Premji, Wipro’s executive chairman, termed it as cheating by employees. When happened next was even more terrifying. Wipro fired 300 employees who were moonlighting!
We know, by now, you might be wondering what moonlighting is. What is this hype all about?
Moonlighting is working two full times jobs without the knowledge of your employer. So, an employee does a 9-hour shift in the daylight and takes up another full-time job during the moonlight.
This term is not new in the industry. People do it quite often. Remember when we were kids, our school teacher used to run coaching classes in the evening to earn some extra money? Or a delivery boy working as a DJ at night. All of these are an example of moonlighting. The term is popular in western countries, and now it is picking up pace in India.
Beginning of Moonlighting
On 3rd August 2022, Swiggy announced the moonlighting policy for its employees. It allowed its employees to take jobs outside of office hours or on weekends under the condition that it does not impact their productivity or have a conflict of interest with its business in any way.
But, Wipro’s executive chairman, Mr Rishad Premji’s statement indeed muddied the waters. He said, ‘The reality is that there are people today working for Wipro and working directly for one of our competitors, and we have discovered 300 people in the last few months who are doing that.’
Employers usually don’t encourage employees to moonlight because it may cause a conflict of interest for the company and may lead to a breach of confidentiality.
Does Any Law Prevent Dual Employment or Moonlighting in India?
The term moonlighting is relatively new in India. But is there any law to govern moonlighting or dual employment?
Yes, there is. The Factory Law of 1948 says, ‘No adult worker shall be required or allowed to work in any factory on any day on which he has already been working in any other factory’. But this regulation is for factory workers. What about employees?
Well, there is no such law that prevents dual employment in India. Your job contract decides whether or not you can pick moonlighting. So, always read into the fine print. If your work contract has a single employment or confidentiality clause, you cannot moonlight.
Is Moonlighting the Future?
With changing times, individuals want to enhance their skills and use their talent to the fullest to earn some extra income. However, employers may worry about productivity loss because moonlighting employees would feel the stress and may burn out of pressure.
As of now, there is no law binding moonlighting. But, before taking up any other gig, check the contract with your employer and make wise decisions. Remember to take care of your health because a loss of health will cost you not only one but both jobs!
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