To continue reading please register or login to your OHW+ account.
The financial crisis and squeeze on living standards has forced many employees to "moonlight", which can cause difficulties for the principal employer. James Green considers how to best tackle a shadowy issue.
It is not uncommon for an employee to want to work an additional job, and this often presents no obvious problem to the employer. However, what can you do if the burden of this second job starts to affect your employee's performance in your workplace simply because they have taken on too much and are too fatigued to work to the required standard?
This could constitute poor performance and, as such, could be dealt with under a capability procedure, but there are ways to manage the issue more proactively. While an employer can include an express term in the contract of employment to prohibit the employee from taking up additional work, this may be unappealing to the employee and, in some cases, will be unnecessary. A less draconian measure would be to include a requirement that the employee requests the employer's permission before they take a second job. This clause presents the employer with the opportunity to evaluate what the employee is proposing to do and to set any parameters that might be necessary to protect its business.
This also helps an employer address a potential legal issue in relation to obligations under the Working Time Regulations 1998. The Regulations require that employees work no more than an average of 48 hours per week and should enjoy a certain amount of daily and weekly rest. If an employer knows one of its employees is working elsewhere in the evenings or at weekends, then the employee may not be getting adequate rest breaks and may be exceeding the 48-hour limit; a potential breach of the employer's obligations under the Regulations. While enforcement actions are rare for the Regulations, employers will wish to adhere to them from a compliance perspective. A clause requiring the employee to seek permission to hold a second job will help you comply with those obligations.
Working during sickness absence
Moonlighting scenarios may also arise that call the employee's honesty into question. It is surprisingly common for employees on long-term sick leave to try to supplement sick pay with additional income from another job. Where this arises, you should be in a good position to discipline or dismiss the employee on the basis that the employee has been dishonest about the state of his or her h