IBM to employees: Moonlighting not welcome

US-based IT giant IBM has made its stand on moonlighting clear. The IT major said that the practice is not ethical and the company does not promote such behaviour at the workplace. Sandip Patel, managing director, IBM India, said that the company’s position is the same as that of the overall industry in the country. “All of our workers when they are employed, they sign an agreement which says that they are going to be working full-time for IBM. So moonlighting is not ethically right for them to get into,” he told reporters at an event in Mumbai. He added, “That’s our position now and you’ve already heard the industry position.”
Recently, Infosys sent a reminder mail to its employees that moonlighting or employees taking up dual employment is in violation of the employee code of conduct. Violation of clauses restricting dual employment could lead to disciplinary action and also the termination of employment, India’s second-largest IT company said in an email titled “No Double Lives”
What is Moonlighting
Moonlighting refers to the practice of working a second job outside normal business hours. An employee may work a normal 9-to-5 job as a primary source of income but work nights at a different job in order to earn extra money. HR experts have attributed moonlighting as one of the factors that makes many reluctant to come back to office.
What led to the debate on Moonlighting
The debate on Moonlighting started last month after the food delivery platform Swiggy announced an industry-first ‘Moonlighting policy’ by allowing employees to work on other projects after working hours, under certain conditions. “This could encompass activity outside of office hours or on weekends that does not impact their productivity on the full-time job or have a conflict of interest with Swiggy’s business in any way,” a company release said. The policy is available to all full-time employees of Bundl Technologies, the parent of Swiggy, including subsidiaries, affiliates, associate, and group companies.
Moonlighting appears to have divided traditional tech companies and new-age ones. As some new-age startups, including fintech unicorn Cred, spoke in support of the policy. Cred told TOI that it encourages side hustles. However, most of the traditional companies are calling it cheating.
Days after Swiggy’s announcement, Wipro chairman Rishad Premji termed the concept as cheating. “There is a lot of chatter about people moonlighting in the tech industry. This is cheating — plain and simple,” he tweeted.
Some in the industry also say that a distinction must be made between a second job, and a side hustle that involves a payment.

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