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What are the implications when an employee has a second job?

Figures released last year by the ONS, some 450,000 full-time employees in the UK have a second job

While the variety of extra jobs is wide, a significant proportion have arisen from professionals being able to sell their online skills during their spare time. What are the implications of these moonlighting employees?

Apart from earning extra money, moonlighters often take on another role to gain extra experience, learn new skills and give themselves a chance to do something outside the scope of their 9 to 5. There is no law against people having more than one job; however, it is important for employers to consider whether the second role is detrimental to their employee’s performance and, of course, whether it creates a conflict of interest.

Contractual obligations of employment will commonly only cover working for the employer during the core working hours – what an employee chooses to do outside these hours is up to them; however, if the employee’s out-of-hours job is calling on them to work long and late hours, this could compromise the quality of their work in their regular job.

If they are fatigued, for example, this could potentially pose a health and safety risk. In situations such as these, it is important for the employer to take some form of action or come to an agreement with the employee with regard to their terms of employment.

The Office for National Statistics figures do not include those who have been forced to go self-employed by their main employer to reduce costs. This number is growing and could well increase further, according to a report by the Social Market Foundation (SMF), due to the national living wage (NLW) being introduced this April.

The chief economist of the SMF, Nida Broughton, who co-authored the report, said that since the national living wage and other rights such as holiday and sick pay do not apply to the self-employed, this would lead firms to question the benefits of having full-time employees. A shift in this direction could have a profound effect on the job market.

Jamie Hamnett, partner at law firm Addleshaw Goddard, warned that businesses should avoid this approach; however, he also said that most of the businesses his firm had spoken to about the NLW are looking at it positively.

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