• September 16, 2022

Ethical dilemma over moonlighting, debate rages on

Ethical dilemma over moonlighting, debate rages on

The practice of moonlighting, where employees take on second jobs or assignments, sparks debate, division among Indian companies.

Moonlighting is a
term used for employees taking up a second job or work assignments during
normal work hours or outside them. Most companies in India prohibit staff from participating
in such activities, citing concerns like conflicts of interest, job
performance, or misuse of an employer’s resources.

The debate around
moonlighting has divided the industry, drawing sharp reactions. Swiggy, which
permitted its employees recently to work on external projects for money, said that
a significant portion of the working population discovered new hobbies and
perhaps even an activity that provides an additional source of income during
the Covid-19 lockdowns. The company believes that working on such projects can
significantly contribute to both the professional and personal development of
an individual.

However, soon,
the Wipro Chairman trashed the idea of moonlighting in the tech industry,
calling it “cheating – plain and simple”.

The trend caught
up during the two years of the pandemic — when work from home became a norm.

But the IT
industry is not convinced. Infosys on Monday sent an email to its employees
reminding them that dual employment is not permitted under the company’s
Employee Handbook and Code of Conduct.

“No Two-Timing –
No Moonlighting – No Double Lives” – the email proclaimed, adding that any
violation of the clause may lead to termination.

Pune-based IT
union NITES said the clause cited by Infosys in its mailer was arbitrary in
nature and emphasised that “what the employees do outside working hours is
their prerogative”.

India Inc should
see this as the right time to participate in the debate and be receptible to
multiple perspectives, including those of the workforce.

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