Global tech major, IBM which employs over lakh individuals in India, has sent a strong message dissuading employees from moonlighting without following due process.
In India, as per the Labour Law, if you are fully employed, you cannot have your own business or even work elsewhere. Most private organizations also have policies that prohibit moonlighting and take strict action against employees who are taking up outside second jobs.
Tech players in India are expressing varied opinions on moonlighting or side hustles, where an employee undertakes some other work for extra income.
According to TOI, in an internal note to employees, India MD Sandip Patel has said it’s a violation of trust, policy and creates a potential conflict of interest.
The note said, “At IBM, our stance has always been clear: we encourage every IBMer to bring their whole selves to work. Your passion – be it for art, dance, or music is celebrated here, and in that spirit, we’d love to see you pursue your interests.”
“However, if you advance a personal interest, whether directly or indirectly, at the expense of IBM, it is treated as a serious conflict of interest and a violation of trust,” The note added.
Patel said he’s writing to employees because “the moonlighting concept can cause a lot of confusion if not clarified at a granular level.”
Engaging in a second job, part-time, full-time, or contractual is a failure to comply with the terms of employment and a potential conflict of interest with that IBM, the note said.
Last Month, IBM’s managing director for India and South Asia, Sandip Patel said, at the time of joining, the company’s employees sign an agreement saying they will be working only for IBM.
“…notwithstanding what people can do in the rest of their time, it is not ethically right to do that (moonlighting),” Patel told reporters on the sidelines of a company event.
Recently, Happiest Minds Technologies has said moonlighting is unacceptable for the company. The company has laid off a few employees engaged in dual employment who have been fired over the last 6-12 months. However, the company did not disclose the exact number of layoffs.
There have been other IT companies that have laid off employees due to moonlighting policy. Previously, Infosys fired a few employees in recent months for moonlighting. However, the company did not disclose the exact number of layoffs.
Wipro also laid off 300 employees who were found working with its competitor companies at the same time employment with Wipro. Wipro chairman Rishad Premji also described moonlighting as “cheating plain and simple.”
However, there have been a few companies such as Swiggy and Tech Mahindra that have come out in the favour of moonlighting.