Food delivery start-up Swiggy recently announced an “industry-first” policy of allowing its employees to take up gigs or projects outside of their regular employment at the company, during the hours away from work. Swiggy calls these new norms the “moonlighting” policy.
What is ‘moonlighting’?
- Moonlighting is the act of working at an extra job beyond regular working hours, usually without the knowledge of the employer.
- Since the side job was mostly at nighttime or on weekends, it was referred to as moonlighting.
- The term gained popularity when workers in the US started seeking a second job beyond their regular 9-to-5 work for additional income.
Why do people moonlight, and is it legal?
- The main reason for going above and beyond an existing job is earning more money. Additionally, working in a different role can allow a person to develop new skills, explore related domains and connect with more people.
- But employers are suspicious of this practice often because it can mean that a worker may not give their organisation the time it needs, and not give any extra time to either organisation.
- Holidays and time-off are also meant to rest a worker and improve their efficiency, but taking on another job could make this difficult.
- In India, private companies usually do not allow holding multiple jobs.
- Shops and Establishment Acts of various states restrict double employment as well but vary in application especially when it comes to highly-specialised industries.