India Inc seeks help from law firms to address moonlighting: Report
Several law firms in India have been seeing a sharp jump in companies approaching them to redraft employment agreements, find loopholes, and enforce restrictions to address the issue of moonlighting. Some companies are even asking law firms to enable the practice with proper checks and balances, a report in Economic Times (ET) said.
Moonlighting is a practice of having a secret job in addition to one’s regular employment. India Inc has been greatly divided on the issue. Recently, Wipro fired 300 employees for having a second job. Some start-ups, including Swiggy, on the other hand, have allowed their employees to have a second job.
“Several organisations in the IT/ITeS sector have been emphasising the requirement to have their employment contracts and policies revisited, including additional clarity on their stance against possible moonlighting,” Anshul Prakash, partner, employment labour & benefits at Khaitan & Co told ET.
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The moot point, according to Prakash, was to specify that the confidentiality obligations will stretch beyond the work hours.
In the coming days, companies may even start drafting tighter agreements with clear, defined boundaries, another expert said. This includes defining the work obligations and ensuring that the quality of work is not compromised.
“Some organisations are most certainly looking into their policies and contracts to ascertain if they can allow employees to work an additional job(s) without really compromising the quality of work or business interest of the organisation,” Veena Gopalakrishnan, Partner – Employment Law, at AZB & Partners told ET.
However, there are also cases where employers are reaching out to employees to understand the “gap” and address it.