The Double-edged Sword Of Moonlighting: Is It Legal In India?

The Double-Edged Sword of Moonlighting: Is It Legal In India?


There has been a stir since Swiggy just announced their policy on moonlighting! There are views on topics like "cheating" and "two-timing," as well as "improved employee morale"! Moonlighting basically refers to an employee of a corporation working outside of regular business hours. This isn't even freelancing as a freelancer works concurrently for multiple companies and isn't a permanent employee of any one of them.


Moonlighting can develop from a passion or hobby and can be paid for or done for free. There should be no conflicts of interest, but the employee must disclose this to his employer. Additionally, the productivity of the primary occupation should not be impacted by the external projects. The practice of moonlighting has become more popular since the Pandemic began. Many people who work part-time do so merely to feed their need for personal development, education, and fulfilment. 
There are numerous websites that offer the chance to work part-time and make extra money. Probably GIG at work, but with a twist! It's crucial to comprehend how the gig economy, Millennial, and Gen Z interact (GEMZ).
By 2024, it is anticipated that India's gig economy will be worth over USD 450 billion. According to a 2021 global study on millennial, 64% of millennial full-time employees desire to work in the gig economy.

Legal Provision:

The Double-Edged Sword of Moonlighting: Is It Legal In India?
Dual employment is forbidden by the Factories Act of 1948, Section 60. However, this only applies to manufacturing workers and does not apply to other occupations. An employee may moonlight if the employment agreement does not prohibit it and there is no non-compete clause.
In several States of India, dual work is not prohibited by law. No employee is permitted to work in any establishment under the AP Shops Act. In the case of full-time employment, it is typically assumed that the employee won't start working for another company, even while they are still fulfilling the requirements of their current employer's notice period. 
However, it is desirable to incorporate such a restriction in the employment contract in the absence of a clear legal prohibition. In order to ensure that employees are productive and focused at their existing jobs, moonlight terms are added to the employment agreement.
According to the Delhi Shop Act, no person is allowed to work for an establishment, two or more establishments, or an establishment and a factory for a longer period of time than is permitted for him to be legitimately employed.
No employee shall work in any establishment, nor shall any employer knowingly let an employee to extend services to another establishment on an off day as per the Act, according to section 65 of the Bombay Shop Act.
A worker cannot operate against the interests of an industrial establishment by engaging in dual employment, according to section 8 of schedule I-B of the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central Rules, 1946.
The majority of countries, including India, have not yet passed legislation to assist in workers' rehabilitation even after the epidemic, which is still having an impact on business as shown by movements like "Silent Resigning" and the Great Resignation. 
Dual employment is regarded as a legitimate reason for termination of employment, despite the fact that dual employment is not specifically addressed by Indian labor regulations.
India is currently persuaded to adopt a 4-day work week. Perhaps it's time to consider legalizing and properly structuring several employment held by a single person. Who knows, moonlighting could be in our future and for this to happen, regulations need to be changed!

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