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The term Moonlighting came into existence in the West where employees started looking for secondary jobs to earn extra income. Often, such jobs are taken by employees in secret without informing their primary employer.

“A second job could be full-time, part-time or contractual in nature but at its core is a failure to comply with employment obligations and a potential conflict of interest with IBM’s interest,” IBM India and South Asia head, Sandip Patel, said in a note to employees.

Multinational Technology firm IBM India Managing Director, Sandip Patel made it clear to his employees on moonlighting that it can cause a lot of confusion if not clarified at a granular level.

“IBM’s policy is also fundamentally important to trust our clients place in IBM when they entrust us with the transformation, access and management of critical commercial assets including data and systems,” the note added.

Recently, several IT companies have taken a stance against the concept of moonlighting and few have also taken actions against their employees who have been engaged in dual employment. Among them are Infosys, HCLTech, Tata Consultancy Services, and Wipro.

Rishad Premji, Executive Chairman of Wipro has labelled this practice as “cheating” and also fired around 300 employees working with rivals simultaneously.

Another IT firm, Happiest Minds Technologies said moonlighting is unacceptable as it amounts to a breach of contract and has also fired a few of its employees who were found involved in dual jobs. The company’s Executive Vice Chairman, Joseph Anantharaju said the employees are now being asked to return to the office so that practices like moonlighting could be identified and eliminated at an early stage.

In September, Infosys sent a similar letter to its employees warning against moonlighting and its consequences. Although recently, the company set a new policy addressing the process to be followed to take up external gigs or work by the employees only with the consent of their managers. However, the company is still against moonlighting.

IBM India has over 1,40,000 out of 4,30,000 employees in total, making it close to a third of its employee base and also its biggest workforce contributor globally.

Red Newswire