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Is your employee moonlighting at other jobs behind your back? Here's what to do!

by , 19 July 2013
Lisa comes to work an hour late, bleary-eyed and with the excuse that she overslept - she can barely keep her eyes open at her desk! You overhear her telling someone that she's a bartender a few nights a week for extra cash. Meanwhile, Dina hasn't come in at all with the excuse that she's at a funeral - again - but you know she's doing freelance graphic design work from home for a friend of yours. What can you as an employer do if your employee has a side job? Read on to find out...

When your employee moonlights by working for other people part-time, The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management reveals what you can do to protect your business interests…

An employee's contract must state they can't have a second job if it interferes with their work for your company

Depending on the nature of your business, you might want to be even stricter and say the employee is prohibited from working for someone else altogether. (Keep in mind you can't prohibit an employee from running their own business unless it interferes with their job, or their business is competing with yours.)

Dishonesty is a worse offense than moonlighting

In our examples above, we've got two negative effects of moonlighting. Lisa is too tired to be highly productive at her day job because of her nightshifts at the bar. Her part time work is affecting her ability to do her job. Dina, on the other hand, is doing something even more heinous: She's lying to her employer and abusing leave. This is a far more serious offence.

You can take disciplinary action

Even if you don't expressly prohibit part-time work in the employee's contract, you can take disciplinary action in these situations. In Lisa's case, her fatigue at her job is a performance issue, and a poor performance counseling session might be necessary.
Dina's behaviour can be serious enough to warrant dismissal. Dishonesty is a form of misconduct, as is abusing leave, so you can start disciplinary procedures against her provided you have enough evidence that she is being dishonest.
Setting out clear rules and boundaries when it comes to part-time work will keep moonlighting from affecting your business.

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