Odishatv Bureau

Renowned IT companies such as Wipro and Infosys are sacking their employees for dual employment and moonlighting is trending again in corporate circles. Terming it an ‘ethical’ issue, the companies have started adopting ‘zero tolerance' policy towards moonlighting or freelancing. So, why do employees opt for moonlighting despite being full-time employees? And why do companies, especially in the IT sector, are taking umbrage to it? Here’s why.

Moonlighting means taking up an extra job or assignment outside of regular business hours, to earn more money. It is not uncommon in the employment sector for employees to do so albeit surreptitiously but currently, it is receiving a severe backlash from the bosses.

Why do employees moonlight? The reasons can vary from meeting their financial needs to improving their skills, there could be many reasons for moonlighting.

  • Overcome debts
  • Improve their lifestyle
  • Pursue their passion if they are stuck in a job they aren’t enjoying 
  • Change their career stream

The companies, on their part, are critical. Big IT and Tech companies such as Wipro, Infosys, TCS, and HCL have expressed disapproval at this growing trend. Last month Wipro sacked around 300 employees for indulging in dual employment, and more recently, Infosys followed suit.

Wipro Chairman, Rishad Premji even took to Twitter to criticise the practice and called it ‘cheating’. There are other reasons besides ‘ethical’ which companies cite for relieving their employees of duties. 

  • Long work hours lead to mental and physical exhaustion - affecting performance and productivity
  • Hectic lifestyle results in a short attention span and distraction for many
  • Lack of sleep drops productivity and becomes a health concern in the long run

In nutshell, from the employer’s point of view, moonlighters are not prompt and prepared for the challenges of day-to-day work.

In India, there is no law that completely prohibits moonlighting. Thus, it is the employers and their terms of employment that decide whether an employee can moonlight or not. Many companies especially in the IT sector consider it against the core values and have either terminated employees or have warned employees of termination if found out.