Moonlighting Grips the Industry with Fascination
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Moonlighting Grips the Industry with Fascination for Some and Also with Awe and Distrust for Others, As A Result of Parallel Income Streams


Karma Management Global Consulting Solutions Pvt. Ltd. with recent crossovers to countries like Canada, the US, the UK, UAE, and South East Asia, has become a globe-trotting organization since April 2021, offering a plethora of services like payroll, temp staffing, recruitment and talent acquisition, HR services including employment contracts and regulatory obligations.

Despite the pandemic challenges and other initial hiccups amidst its venture by setting global footprints, it has done very well for itself with expectations beyond imagination, as it now has numerous global clients on board, spinning out services with the help of experts and fully automated technology.

Meeting the legal obligations and countries’ labour policies across global regulatory environments and keeping up to date with changes, all has become synonymous with Karma Management’s main stable of growth, expansion, and timely deliverables for high-tech business performance.

Karma has a well-governed system of assessing emerging regulatory trends, tracking the regulatory changes relevant to specific industries, markets and countries, developing advocacy strategies, and defining process improvements that facilitate conformity and minimize risk exposure.

It has hundreds of elite clients on its excellent service dispensing list.  The expert staff in its roll deals with thousands of regulatory compliance acts on an Indian basis,  some of the acts being state-specific while others are enacted by the Central Government.

Karma Global has always believed in keeping with the spirit and intent of the law intact as all its members in the global team are passionate about what they do and how they provide accurate results to global clients which also keeps on ensuring that information and analysis are reviewed constantly by its experts grasping the subject matter for the purpose for which it is intended and especially the latest trending of moonlighting!


Reasons for moonlighting?

Some of the reasons for the increase in the recent moonlighting phenomena across the world are as follows:


1. Low salaries and incentives are not enough to maintain life standards.  Further, the starting salaries of major IT companies  has been remaining in the same range for the last 10-12 years, thereby neglecting  inflation factor.

Employee unhappiness with respect to current pay leads to moonlighting in the workplace.

2. Rising inflation – People are compelled to work two jobs in order to support their lifestyles due to the rising cost of basic necessities as a result of inflation.

3. Parallel income streams are needed to ensure financial independence

The salaries offered by many companies may not be up to the mark to ensure living standards and youngsters feel that Without multiple income sources, it may be really difficult to ensure financial independence in the future.  Techies usually go to side jobs as a second source of income.

4. Covid-19 Pandemic and work-from-home trend: During the Covid 19 lockdown, when everyone started working from home, employees got more time on their hands.

Further, there was no continuous supervision which usually happens in office jobs. Many employees took up a new hobby or activity that gives them an extra source of income.

5. Mass Layoffs and Hiring freezes:

Many professionals especially in tech companies have had sleepless nights due to the COVID-19 epidemic as several businesses have announced huge layoffs and the process of hiring slowed down during the lockdown. Employees were obliged to take up side employment during the lockdown as a result of the worry of losing their jobs.

 6. Entrepreneurial spirit:

There is a new vigor among youth to start their own ventures, particularly inspired by many high-growth startups.

The startup culture is a great motivation for many to moonlight.

7. Lack of appreciation by employers:

The workers are nonetheless unhappy with their job duties and responsibilities. Because their employers don’t value their efforts, they begin to feel alienated within the organization.

8. Upgrading their skill for different job profiles:

In some circumstances, a person could think about concurrent employment to advance their skills and pursue a career path that feeds their interest and passion.

9. To combat boredom:

To fight the psychological effects of boredom brought on by the COVID-19 lockdown, the employees began to pursue their passions or side jobs.

10. Utilization of extra time in creative ways:

Moonlighting has increased as a result of the transition to remote employment. Because of the work-from-home culture, employees’ days are longer because they spend less time going to and from the office. Some of the employees use this extra time for their several new ventures.

Is it ethical?


Industries’ thoughts  are split into two groups :

old-school IT enterprises and new-school ones.

For commercial reasons, the majority of traditional businesses forbid their staff from working for third parties.

The new age group, meanwhile, thinks that morality should evolve through time.

Moonlighting gained public attention, after Swiggy, a food aggregation company,  permitted staff to work on outside projects for pay or for free subject to specific parameters and constraints in early August, this year.

According to the recently initiated Swiggy’s Moonlighting Policy,  their regular employees are free to take on any job or activity that can be completed after hours or on the weekend without affecting their productivity or posing a conflict of interest with the regular job.

Additionally, prior clearance is required for any initiatives or tasks that could potentially present a conflict of interest or interfere with an employee’s job duties. To get the project approved by the team, the employee will need to provide a few basic details about their side gigs. This occurs at a time when food tech companies are under fire for making workers work harder than is necessary while paying them less than is fair.

The organization is of the opinion that working on such initiatives can greatly aid in an individual’s professional and personal growth.


What Industry has to say ………!

 Recently, a major fintech, CRED  stated that it supports side jobs. It also quoted that its head of design and engineering is part of the Carnatic rock band ‘Agam’.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, IBM, and Wipro have all stated that they are opposed to the trend, but Tech Mahindra has indicated that the tendency is widely accepted.

WIPRO  Chairman Rishad Premji declared that working a second job constituted “cheating, plain and simple” in his Tweet. Rishad Premji announced that the company had sacked 300 workers who were discovered to be simultaneously employed by one of its competitors and Wipro. Later speaking at an AIMA event, Mr. Premji made it clear that the company had no place for such workers who even while working for Wipro opted to directly work for rivals, at the same time. Mr. Premji has been a strong opponent of employee moonlighting. Later, the chief executive of Wipro claimed that in those particular cases of breach, action had been taken by ending their services.

Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder of Infosys got in the debate, saying that in order to earn the trust of their employer and to fully focus on the project at hand, people should only work for one company. Employees were informed by Infosys in an email with the subject line “No Double Lives” that moonlighting was against the company’s code of conduct and might result in dismissal.

The US-based IT major IBM has made it clear where it stands on moonlighting. IBM claimed that the practice was unethical and that the employer did not encourage it in the workplace. According to Sandip Patel, managing director of IBM India, the company’s situation is the same as that of the nation’s entire industry. “All of our employees sign a contract stating that they will work full-time for IBM once they start with us. Therefore, it is unethical for them to start doing second jobs.

C P Gurnani, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of  Tech Mahindra, expressed support for the idea of moonlighting and said he could consider it for his staff. He expressed support for allowing staff to take on extra work. If given the opportunity, he said he might make moonlighting a business policy, but employees should be upfront about it. . On his Twitter, he said that it is important to adapt to the times and added, “I welcome disruption in the ways we work.”

N Ganapathy Subramaniam, the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of IT powerhouse Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). Subramaniam claimed that moonlighting is unethical and that the IT sector will ultimately suffer. In his words, “Moonlighting is an ethical issue; we need to instil the ethics and (concept of) doing what is right, and if we do something like this for short-term profits, we will lose out in the long run.”


Government’s stand –  Indian IT Minister’s stand on Moonlighting

Minister of State for Electronics and IT and Skill Development Rajeev Chandrasekhar supports moonlighting in the backdrop of the rapidly evolving startup culture. He is of the opinion that this is the future of work.

He said that companies must now understand there has been a structural shift in the minds and attitudes of the young Indian tech workforce. Today’s youngsters have every sense of confidence and purpose in creating more value out of their skills. They want to monetize his/her skills.

“Employers expect employees to be entrepreneurial while serving them. The same people can apply it personally to themselves,”

The minister, however, added that moonlighting should not be in violation of any contractual obligations. He also added that any captive model will fade.

He predicted a time will come when there will be a community of product builders who will divide their time on multiple projects, just like lawyers or consultants.

IT firms stand against the moonlighting phenomena.


Different companies have different views. Some of the risk factors that are pointed out by these companies to employees moonlighting are as follows:

1. Conflict of Interest:

Concerns center on potential conflicts of interest caused by an employee working for a rival company or disclosing private or sensitive information.

2. Doubts regarding the job performance of employees:

Companies are concerned that if a person overworks himself, it may affect productivity or performance at the main job.

3. Misuse of employer’s resources:

The use of company resources, such as laptops and software, for a side business is also not appreciated by employers.

4. Absenteeism:

Taking leave from the primary job for the side gigs.

5. Poor attentiveness and fatigue:

Employees who double up may experience physical and mental tiredness, which results in the inability to focus, lethargy, and other health-related problems. The growth of the business where they work is gradually impacted by this.

Is moonlighting legal or illegal?

The legislation in India does not entirely ban moonlighting, there are a number of laws that mention multiple works.

The Factories Act of 1948 forbids the double employment of adult workers in factories in Section 60. However, organisations that don’t operate factories are exempt from their anti-double employment regulations.

Following are the acts that are mentioned about dual employment in India:


1. The Factories Act of 1948 has Section 60:

Restriction on dual employment. Unless otherwise specified, no adult worker must be compelled or permitted to work in any factory on any day on which he has already worked in any other industry. Save in such circumstances as may be prescribed.


2. Industrial Employment standing order Act, 1946:

Employers in industrial establishments are required by this Act to clearly define the terms of employment and submit proposal standing orders to the certification Authority for certification. It is applicable to all industrial facilities that employ 100 workers or more (50 workers, in the case of facilities for which the Central Government is the Appropriate Government).


3. Section 65 of the Bombay Shops and Establishment Act, 1948:

Restriction on double employment on a holiday or during leave. No employee shall work in any establishment, nor shall any employer knowingly permit an employee to work in any establishment, on a day on which the employee is given a holiday or is on leave in accordance with the provisions of this Act.


4. Section 9 of the Delhi Shops and Establishment Act 1954:

Restriction on double employment. -No person shall work about the business of an establishment or two or more establishments or an establishment and a factory in excess of the period during which he may be lawfully employed under this Act.

 Moreover, each state has its own laws and regulations, which can vary from one state to the next.


Most often, IT companies have been exempted from certain provisions of the statutes, such as dual employment. When it comes to employment, they are free to take independent decisions.

 Many legal experts and HR professionals concur that courts have previously allowed companies to fire workers who are found to be moonlighting. For instance, in the 2016 case of Gulbahar v. Presiding Officer Industrial Tribunal, the Punjab Haryana High Court confirmed the petitioner’s dismissal on the grounds of dual employment. In a case involving Metso Paper (India) Pvt Ltd vs. Mr. V. Gokulakrishnan, a Delhi District court backed the termination of the employee who held two jobs on September 6, 2019, in a manner similar to this.

 In full-time employment, the individual is expected to devote all of his working hours to furthering the goals of his or her company. But the delivery and logistics companies that engage gig workers may not be able to legally prohibit them from moonlighting. This is because gig workers typically do not have a full-time employment relationship and are not entitled to employment benefits or protections. They may be able to pursue other opportunities, as long as they avoid conflicts and do not breach confidentiality.

However, the delivery and logistics firms that hire gig workers might not be able to legally forbid them from doing a second job. This is so because part-time workers often don’t have a formal employment arrangement that would qualify them for benefits or protections under the law.  If they avoid problems and don’t violate confidentiality, they could be able to seek other opportunities


Compromising  Approach:

The need of the hour will be to have a strategic moonlighting policy.

The employment contract would need to be customized in order to harbour clauses on confidentiality, non-compete, exclusivity, working hours, commitment, and conflict of interest to facilitate  moonlighting and yet at the same time, give an appropriate handle to the organizations to safeguard its interests and policies such as :

To give clarity on the do’s and don’t’s, with whom they can work and with whom they cannot work, and up to what point they can work and for how much time.

Alternatively, organizations can outsource their talents who are interested,  with other similar players in the industry, however, keeping appropriate control and supervision with the parent employers.

An internal system for approval and tracing any leaks of confidential information would need to be strictly regimented and disciplined.

Hiring/Firing policies would need to redefine.  poor job performance, absenteeism, tardiness, leaving early, refusal to travel or refusal to work overtime or different hours will have to be dealt with in an appropriate and apt manner. If outside work activity causes or contributes to job-related problems, the employee will be asked to discontinue the outside employment, and the employee may be subject to the normal disciplinary procedures for dealing with the resulting job-related problem(s).”

The policy should also consider whether other related benefits should be extended like a stock option, basket allowances to choose from, foreign trips, paid vacation, etc.



Moonlighting has become rampant with people taking up multiple jobs without the knowledge of one’s primary employer after regular business hours.

Moonlighting could set a trend for enhancing skills, knowledge, competence, and productivity while also avoiding disengagement, learning new business dynamics, and boosting passion.

Moonlighting may definitely go against the traditional working practices of rest hours, holidays, and leave, while also having a negative impact on workers’ physical and mental health and contributing to burnout.  Also, there will be the erosion of work and life balance.

The biggest threat that IT stalwarts see today is losing expertise, data, and technology to rivals either out of moonlighting or out of revenge or hatred or other dislikes.

In India, still there is no clear-cut legislation regarding moonlighting that can be applied to every field of employment. So the idea of moonlighting legal or illegal is widely depends on the employers and their terms of appointment and some types of industries where some acts are regulated.

Companies may include a conflict-of-interest clause in the employment agreement as well as an exclusive clause prohibiting moonlighting, but legal restrictions alone will not suffice if there is no trust and no engagement and no working relations, and no place for bonding and other cultural and strategic activities including external time-bound programs and training.

It is pertinent that at this juncture before the code rules get implemented uniformly across all States and Union Territories of India, the Government should come out with a clear-cut policy incorporating the do’s and don’t in the labour codes and rules with proper definitions, meaning, punishment for violation, adherence as a part of the legal framework.


Proprietory blog of Karma Management Global Tech Firm

This blog has been compiled by the internal staff of Karma Global with the knowledge and expertise that they possess, for its monthly newsletter Issue 05 of  November   2022 in case of specific or general information or compliance updates for that matter, kindly reach out to the

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