[Answered] What do you understand by the term Moonlighting? What are the reasons behind its prevalence after the pandemic? Also, highlight its implications.

Introduction: Explain Moonlighting.
Body: Explain the reasons behind its prevalence after the pandemic. Also write its implications.

Conclusion: Write a way forward.

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 night-time or on weekends, it was referred to as moonlighting. Moonlighting can be a double-edged sword for employees in India. It may bring in some extra income and valuable experience, but when caught it may be seen as violation of contract and even lead to termination.

Reasons behind its prevalence after the pandemic:

  • Work from home culture: While the pandemic has resulted in work from home culture for the majority of the population, it has become easier for employees to work on a second job or business without their primary employer’s knowledge.
  • Plan B: People take up a second job as a backup because, at this moment, companies are understaffed and losing money. This also led to employees working for multiple jobs to maintain job security and a steady flow of income.
  • Paying off debt: Due to pandemic, India as well as the rest of the world – suffered heavy job losses. With a second job, people manage to pay for home loan etc.
  • To Combat Boredom: when they do not have enough work to keep them occupied at their primary jobs or to keep themselves busy throughout the day.
  • To Gain Additional Work Experience or indulge in work profiles they are more passionate about.

Implications:

  • It is a matter of concern for employers as it would put the company’s confidential information at risk and employees might not give their 100%.
  • The employee is able to perform better due to their improved knowledge and skills thereby benefitting the employer.
  • If the employees are engaged in two jobs, they tend to exhaust themselves. Due to excessive work, they may face several health related problems.
  • When an employee works for another employer or starts his/her own business which is similar to his first job, there is a fear of competition faced by the first employer. In such a situation, there is a conflict of interest.
  • The employee may not be able to focus on the present job thereby reducing the efficiency of the organisation.

Way forward:

  • A non-compete clause must be inserted in the employment contract. It greatly reduces the risk of losing business secrecy.
  • Employers must ensure that employees receive the minimum compensation which is essential for their basic needs. Wages and salaries may be augmented by certain incentives.
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