Home / News / India /  Mint survey: 64% feel moonlighting is ethical and it's not about loyalty

Tech giants have come together to oppose what they vehemently termed as unethical - moonlighting. The idea of employees moonlighting has triggered fresh debate, polarising opinions and raised legal questions. Industry experts have also suggested that bringing back employees to the office would ease concerns. Mint had conducted a survey on the micro-blogging site Twitter to understand the employees take on the process.

Lets us understand

What is moonlighting

According to Cornell University Law, moonlighting is when someone works more than one job at a time. According to US Legal, moonlighting usually refers to when a person holds a second job outside of normal working hours. Therefore, someone could work a normal 9-to-5 job as a primary source of income but work at another night job to earn extra money.

Mint Survey insights

According to the survey conducted by this newspaper, most respondents have concluded that moonlighting is ethical. Some opposed it and some could not make a decision about it. More than half (64.5%) considered moonlighting ethical, while 23.4% opposed it. 

Take a look at the survey

Several netizens favoured moonlighting citing varied reasons. While one questioned, “Each candidate working on multiple projects but still get one salary whereas company gets salary on each headcount from each project... Is it ethical", another stated, “No it is not unethical as in today's world if people are enough capable to handle many projects on one salary however the employer gets paid for each and every project, then why can't an employee can get salary for every project."

Some netizens considered a bureaucratic approach, wherein he mentioned, “If disclosed about the 2nd job to the employer and both the employers comply with the agreement, in this case, it should be considered legitimate."

Some netizen also marked that if the performance of the employee is not hampered, the companies should not have a problem. “If an employee can complete their assignments on time and fulfill all official obligations to the satisfaction of company management, then there should be no objection if he/she moonlights to earn extra bucks.If the performance is not upto mark,the company can take action anyway," one said.

Citing survival, payment and the ability to manage, most netizens agreed that moonlighting could be considered legal. 

Minister speaks on moonlighting

It is to be noted that India's Minister of state for electronics and information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar backed moonlighting, and said that companies should understand the employee-entrepreneur mindset of today's tech force.

Companies on moonlighting

While there is no defined set of precincts barring employees from moonlighting, several tech giants and their founders have spoken about it. Several founders have vehemently opposed the practice and have warned against strict action if employees were found ‘violating integrity'.

Wipro- Wipro had fired its 300 employees after finding out that they were working with one of its competitors at the same time, Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji said on 21 September.

IBM- 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.

Infosys- Infosys firmly asserted that dual employment or 'moonlighting' is not permitted. "No two-timing - no moonlighting!" India's second largest IT services company said adding that "Moonlighting is a practice of working on a second job during the normal business hours/outside business hours. Infosys as a company strictly discourages dual employment."

TCS- TCS COO N Ganapathy Subramaniam said, “Moonlighting is an ethical issue, we need to inculcate the ethics and (idea of) being right and if we make something like this for short-term gains, in the long-term we will lose out."

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