'Second job is conflict of interest, violation of trust': IBM on moonlighting

 "You (employees) working with competitors in the market over weekends; even though you do so in personal time, it is still a conflict and in breach of your employment obligations," the IBM MD said.

Published: 26th October 2022 05:54 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th October 2022 06:03 PM   |  A+A-

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By Express News Service

BENGALURU: It looks like the issue of moonlighting and the debate around it will continue, as multinational technology company IBM says having a second job is a conflict of interest with the company's interests.

In an internal note to employees, IBM India MD Sandip Patel said, "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 interests."

He said that the moonlighting concept can cause a lot of confusion if not clarified at a granular level.

"Simply put, moonlighting is commonly referred to as having a second job in addition to one's regular, full-time employment...For example, as an individual, you may operate a small business, but if you spend your work time at IBM doing the same, it will conflict with your official duties to IBM," he told employees.

In another example, he said, "You (employees) working with competitors in the market over weekends; even though you do so in personal time, it is still a conflict and in breach of your employment obligations."

He also said that the company's stance has always been clear that they encourage every IBMer to bring their whole selves to work. 

"Be it for art, dance, or music is celebrated here, and in that spirit, we’d love to see you pursue your interests. However, if you advance a personal interest, whether directly or indirectly, at the expense of IBM’s interests, it is treated as a serious conflict of interest and a violation of trust," he clarified.

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IBM's stance on moonlighting comes a week after the second largest IT services company Infosys allowed its employees to take up gig work with the prior consent of their manager and BP (business partner)-HR.

Many IT companies including HCL, Wipro and Mindtree have clearly stated that moonlighting is unacceptable. Though Infosys allowed employees to take up gig work, it never mentioned the word 'moonlighting' and it said in an internal note- 'No dual employment'.

ALSO READ | Unemployment, Moonlighting, Quiet Quitting

According to HR experts, avoiding moonlighting is not the solution. "However, doing it without the knowledge of the current employer would be wrong. Hence, organisations should evoke a policy to lay down the rules for taking up a second assignment on the side. As long as the second assignment doesn't hurt the other and helps employees fulfil their aspirations to take up interesting challenges," said Aditya Narayan Mishra, MD and CEO of CIEL HR Services.


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