Double Jobbing At Work

by | Jun 6, 2023 | Human Resources

During uphill financial times, employees are increasingly determined to seek additional sources of income. This tendency may cause a decrease in productivity in the workplace as employees attempt to supplement their income after hours, by way of second or even third job. Moonlighting is defined as working an extra job without telling your main employer.

Drawbacks of Employees Having a Second Job

Of course, this situation has some fairly obvious risks. For example:

  • Schedule – It may make scheduling tougher.
  • Timing – Scheduling conflicts may make it more difficult for employees with another job to be present for important meetings.
  • Communication – It can be tough to keep up with whether important communications were delivered to the employees who have variable schedules.
  • Leave Confusion – Employees who want to take days off for reasons unrelated to another job and receive pushback may feel unfairly treated.
  • Loyalty – It may negatively impact employee loyalty, especially if the other job offers better benefits or wants to increase their hours or pay.
  • Productivity – may suffer if an employee doesn’t get enough sleep or time off.
  • Employee Wellness – It could increase the chances of employee burnout.

Contracts of Employment

South Africa’s Constitution states that everyone has the right to work. In essence, employers can therefore not prohibit an employee form working. This does not mean that the “main” employer should just accept a possible negative impact on an employee’s work performance as a result of a second job.  

HR TIP: Contract clauses typically state that employees must seek permission from you before they take on a second job – whether that be on an employed or self-employed basis, or take on any other role or interest in another business.

Employers Should Consider The Following:

An employee’s duty to notify. Many companies require employees to notify their supervisor if they take another job. How much information the employee must provide should be spelled out in the policy.

Restrictions on outside employment. While NDA (nondisclosure agreement) and non-compete agreements do cover certain activities, a moonlighting policy deals strictly with activities undertaken while employed. The policy should specifically detail any restricted types of work, industries, or company types.

Prohibitions using company time or resources for a second job.

Rules regarding moonlighting while out on leave. The law does not specify what employees can and cannot do while on leave, but an employer can legally prohibit an employee from working while on leave as long as the policy is the same for all types of leave.

Restrictions on outside work that could reflect negatively or harm the reputation of the organization.

Ultimately, you need to make the decision that is best for your business. It’s up to you, the employer, as to whether you enforce the rules in your company’s Contract of Employment. We do, however, recommend you seek HR advice if you have any concerns about managing requests legally and fairly.

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Arina Fyfer
AF Consulting
082 745 6779