Breeches of employment contract
By definition moonlighting is “having a job in addition to ones regular employment” and is very common in some industries, with an increase in flexible working hours and job roles than can be carried out from home we have seen a rise in the number of individuals seeking additional employment.
In some cases the individual is working outside of their regular working hours with full consent from their employer and there is no issue providing there is no detrimental effect on their primary position. In other cases employees take leaves of absence in order to fulfil the duties required by their additional position and this is where problems arise.
All good employment contracts will state whether an employee can seek additional employment along with clauses such as an acceptable amount of hours and whether or not they can work for competitors or firms within the same industry.
An employee at a telesales company had been spotted drifting off or paying very little attention by his colleagues on multiple occasions and had been asked by his manager what the issue was. He told his manager that he had been having trouble sleeping and it wouldn’t happen again.
The manager kept an eye on the employee and noticed that his productivity levels were significantly lower than other employees on his team so the manager asked the team leader if he had seen anything unusual or had any explanation as to why this member of staff seemed so tired and had such a poor work rate.
The team leader told the manager that he had seen him putting a uniform for a takeaway restaurant into his locker one morning and that he always visited the toilet before leaving so he assumed he must have a second job but it had only been happening recently.
They decided to arrange a meeting wit the employee and ask him if he had a second job, initially the employee denied it but then admitted he had been working the occasional shift at a local takeaway restaurant. They asked him how many hours he was working and explained that his contract of employment stated he may seek additional employment providing he could still fulfil his duties. The employee was asked how many hours he was working and said no more than 6-8 hours a week which would not have been an issue so they asked him to put more effort in and no further action was taken.
After a month or so the employee had still been performing poorly and the managers suspected he was working more hours than he was willing to admit and that was causing the issue, they contacted the local takeaway who stuck with his story and said he was only working one or two evenings a week and only they only offered 4 hour shifts. The story seemed too convenient so the managers contacted us to find out how many hours the employee was really working.
If you are over 18 you can opt-out out by choice or your employer can ask you to opt-out but your employer cannot sack you or treat you unfairly for refusing to opt-out
Employees caught moonlighting are often in breach of this restriciton on hours
We sent 2-man team to conduct surveillance at the local takeaway and saw the employee was working as a delivery driver, making trips to and from the shop to collect orders and then dropping them off on a moped. We were able to obtain photographic evidence of the employee working shifts of up to 10 hours totalling between 30-40 hours a week, after 3 weeks the employer decided the take the information we had supplied and confront the employee.
The evidence we supplied was used in the disciplinary hearing and the firm were able to take action against the employee for failing to fulfil his duties due to additional employment.
More information:Government guidelines on working hours