Home / Companies / News /  IBM India opposes moonlighting, says not ethically right for full-time employees

Amid the ongoing debate of ‘moonlighting’ in India, global technology giant IBM has made it clear that the dual employment practice is not ethically right and the firm does not promote such behaviour at workplace.

Speaking to reporters, IBM India's Managing Director, Sandip Patel said that the cloud major's position now is exactly that of the overall industry in the country.

"All of our workers when they are employed, they sign an agreement which says that they are going to be working full-time for IBM. So moonlighting is not ethically right for them to get into," the IBM India official said.

"That's our position now and you've already heard the industry position," Patel added.

Earlier on Monday, India's second largest IT services company Infosys has asserted its employees that moonlighting is not permitted, and has warned that any violation of contract clauses will trigger disciplinary action "which could even lead to termination of employment".

"No two timing - no moonlighting!" Infosys said in a strong and firm message to employees. 

The company's internal communication titled "no double lives" makes it clear that "dual employment is not permitted as per...Employee Handbook and Code of Conduct". It also cites the relevant clause in the offer letter to drive home the point.

What is Moonlighting

Put simply, moonlighting refers to employees taking up side gigs to work on more than one job at a time.

The IT firms are worried that ‘moonlighting' will affect productivity, lead to conflicts of interest and possibly data breach.

While the practice of moonlighting emerged as a big talking point after Wipro chairman Rishad Premji flagged the issue, equating it to "cheating", the voices and opinions within the industry have been rather divided.

Premji said that the concept of a second job in addition to the regular job is "plain and simple" cheating. "There is a lot of chatter about people moonlighting in the tech industry. This is cheating -- plain and simple," the Wipro chairman emphasised.

Some startups and unicorns like Swiggy said it has introduced an industry-first 'Moonlighting policy', wherein employees can take up external projects for pro-bono or economic consideration based on internal approvals.

"This could encompass activity outside of office hours or on weekends that does not impact their productivity on the full-time job or have a conflict of interest with Swiggy's business in any way," a company release said.

Meghna Sen
Meghna Sen is a deputy chief content producer at Livemint where she tracks markets, companies. She has 6 years of experience with online and print publications. Email: meghnasen08@gmail.com
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