As the news flashed that Wipro sacked its 300 employees for ‘moonlighting’, many people turned to Google search to find ‘What exactly is Moonlighting?’. So, here are we to tell you what it means when you moonlight, and can you be fired for doing so?
In simple terms, if you have taken up an extra job or assignment to have an extra income, typically without your employer’s knowledge, it means you are moonlighting. Many people moonlight, especially due to financial obligations. As one job is not enough for them to meet their financial needs, they also take upon another to earn extra money.
Moonlighting as Plan B
For many employees, Moonlighting is like having a Plan B. The fear of getting terminated or having insecurity about their present job leads them to take up a second job as a backup so that they are not completely broke even if they lose their primary job.
Moonlighting to pay off debts
Some employees may opt to moonlight as they may be suffering due to debts. It may be a home loan or a car taken on an EMI that may push people to find ways to earn more money, thus ending up moonlighting.
Moonlighting to pursue your passion
For some people, it’s not about money but doing something that they love. Moonlighting may help them to pursue their passion which may not be financially fulfilling. They may do a 9-5 day job and work as DJs at night. They may even take up a few modeling projects while working as a regular employee for some organization. In this way, people can pursue their passion while having a stable source of income.
Moonlighting to ignite your Creative side
Keeping their creative streak alive can be another reason for people to moonlight. As many of them are stuck in their mundane jobs just for the sake of having financial stability, they may take up another part-time job to channel their creativity. This might also keep them inspired and enable them to come up with fresh ideas.
Moonlighting to change career
People looking for a change of career may also go moonlighting. They may do it to have experience and learn about the career they want to opt for. This in turn helps them to grab a lucrative opportunity in their goal sector without even having a formal education in the one.
Can you be fired for Moonlighting?
Once you are aware of what moonlighting is, another question that might tickle your mind is – Can you be fired for moonlighting? The answer is – may or may not be.
In India, Moonlighting is not completely prohibited under the law. Though Section 60 of the Factories Act 1948 prohibits dual employment in the country, the Shop and Establishments Act of all the states may differ from each other.
Mostly it depends on the employers and their terms of appointment which may allow or disallow employees from moonlighting. For example, Swiggy and Zomato allowed it, but many IT companies like Infosys detested it.
For some employees, it is cheating, and they may terminate or lay off employees for doing so. Wipro is a recent example.
Source: Times of India