Moonlighting has been a buzzword on the Internet over the past few days, particularly after tech-giant Wipro fired 300 employees found indulging in moonlighting. Company's boss Rishad Premji said they had found that these employees were working for "rival companies" for some time.
Here, we explain what is moonlighting and why employees are losing their jobs over it.
What is moonlighting?
Moonlighting is the practice of having a parallel job while you work full-time with a different organisation. Taking up another job (or jobs) without the knowledge or consent of the employer is called moonlighting.
Earlier, Premji had said such employees would be terminated for the "act of integrity violation".
"The reality is that there are people today working for Wipro and working directly for one of our competitors and we have actually discovered 300 people in the last few months who are doing exactly that," Premji reportedly said at AIMA's (All India Management Association) National Management Convention.
How are tech companies reacting to it?
It was Swiggy, the food delivery app that triggered the debate last month after it introduced a Moonlighting Policy. The policy says that the workers are free to take an additional job upon approval from Swiggy management.
"Be it volunteering with an NGO, working as a dance instructor, or content creation for social media, Swiggy firmly believes that working on such projects outside of one's full-time employment can significantly contribute to both professional and personal development of an individual," it had said.
However, companies like Infosys, Wipro and IBM are taking strong note of it and terming it as an unethical practice.
While Wipro has hit the headlines with the termination of 300 employees, Infosys last week shot a mail to the employees warning them against the dual job practice.
In a mail titled "No Double Lives", the company reportedly cited the offer letter which prohibits the workers from taking up another job while working full-time with Infosys.
"Today, many Gen-Z employees aspire to enjoy the flexibility of working when and as much as they want to as participants in the gig economy, while at the same time maintaining the stability that comes from their conventional day-job," Krish Shankar, EVP and group head of human resource at Infosys, was quoted as saying by the ET.
On the other hand, CP Gurnani, CEO of Tech Mahindra, sided with the practice and said, "I welcome disruption in the ways we work"
Should you be moonlighting?
In its section on career advice, Monster.com lists out the pros and cons of a second job. While pros include additional income and safety in terms of a fallback option. It cites psychological pros like freedom. "A second job or career can bring psychological benefits, such as the feeling of not being shackled to one company," the website quotes experts.
The cons, on the other hand, are being overworked since an individual will end up using their free time to do the second job. Another issue is the conflict of interest.
"Consulting for a direct (or even indirect) competitor can put you in a dicey situation," the website quotes according to J. Daniel Marr, managing director of the New Hampshire law firm Hamblett and Kerrigan.
This can also impact productivity, experts say. "Even if the company allows moonlighting, supervisors might not like the idea," Monster.com says.
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