Moonlighting is the practice of taking a second job in addition to one’s regular employment in order to augment one’s income. It is also known informally as a side job or side gig.
People may do moonlighting out of need when their primary job’s pay is inadequate to sustain them, or just because they want to increase their income.
Moonlighting is done outside the working hours of the regular job. A person might have more than one side job, and a side job can be a full-time position, a part-time contract, or freelance employment.
Where does the term ‘moonlight’ come from?
The idea behind the term is that the work is being done outside the regular working hour or during the sunlight as in nine-to-five jobs. The concept of moonlighting was always there, even in India, as we know that most of our school teachers also take tuition in the evening to augment their income.
Why is ‘moonlighting’ in news?
Wipro, an Indian multinational enterprise, made headlines recently when it fired 300 workers for allegedly moonlighting against the company’s rules. The company claimed that while still on its payroll, the workers were working for rival companies.
As work from home (WFH) culture became the norm during the Covid-19 epidemic, which is said to have caused an increase in moonlighting.
When it comes to side jobs, Indian IT companies are split. While some see it as immoral, others see it as an urgent necessity.
Why companies are opposing?
Companies oppose moonlighting because, in their opinion, having employees undertake a variety of tasks might lower their productivity.
This week, when the Wipro group revealed it had dismissed 300 workers for “moonlighting,” the soap-to-tech chief Rishad Premji emphasized the distinction between playing in a band on the weekends and working covertly for competitors. Mr. Premji called it “cheating, plain and simple.”
Other software giants have added their voices to the clamor and described moonlighting as “an immoral behavior,” including IBM, which has a significant presence in India.
The first business to formally establish a policy enabling its workers to work on jobs or projects outside of their normal employment at the firm during their off-hours was food tech startup Swiggy. Swiggy allowed their employees for moonlighting with internal permission and the side gig must not harm Swiggy’s interest.