Employee Welfare, Second Jobs

Second Jobs on the rise

Cost of Living Crisis

As an employer, it’s not uncommon to find out that your employees have second jobs. With the cost of living crisis in the UK, many people are taking on additional work to make ends meet. But what should you do as an employer if one of your employees asks for permission to take on a second job? In this post, we’ll explore this issue in more detail.

Look at the contract.

Firstly, it’s important to review the employee’s contract of employment. Some employment contracts may contain clauses that prohibit employees from taking on additional work or require them to obtain permission from their employer before doing so. If the contract contains such a clause, the employee must seek permission before taking on the second job.

Don’t forget, if you have an employee on a zero-hour contract, you have no right to enforce any contractual clause restricting second jobs.

Conflicts of Interest?

When an employee approaches you to request permission to take on a second job, it’s important to consider any potential conflicts of interest. If the second job is in a similar field to your business, a conflict of interest could damage the company’s reputation or intellectual property. If this is the case, you may need to refuse the request or negotiate an agreement to prevent conflicts.

Working time considerations.

Another consideration is the impact of the second job on the employee’s working time. If the employee works long hours or has a demanding job, the second job could impact their ability to perform their duties effectively. You should review their working pattern and ensure that their second job doesn’t affect their performance or productivity at work.  If there is a working time issue, consider asking your employee to sign an opt-out agreement.  Don’t forget it is your statutory duty to take all reasonable steps and protect the health & safety of workers, even if this may be from themselves.

Review, review, review

It’s also important to regularly review the employee’s position, especially if they have taken on a second job. This will ensure that you can assess whether their performance is affected and whether any conflicts of interest arise.  Building in a review period allows you to check in with your employee and communicate with them if this is still working for you and is the right thing for them.

Do I have to?

With rising inflation and wages stagnating, many people are turning to second jobs to make ends meet. As an employer, you can help alleviate some financial pressure on your employees by allowing them to take on a second job, provided it doesn’t negatively impact their work with your company.

As an employer, you must carefully consider your employee’s request for a second job. You should review their contract, consider any potential conflicts of interest, assess the impact on their working time, and regularly review their position. And in these challenging economic times, allowing your employees to take on a second job could help ease their financial burden.