Moonlighting not legal, says Centre

With the concept of moonlighting growing steadily, the issue of legality needs to be addressed.

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On 19 December 2022, the minister of state for labour and employment informed the Parliament that employees should not do or take up any type of work against the interest of their employers as per the legal framework. When a full-time  employee does an additional job, without the employer’s knowledge, it is called ‘moonlighting’. The concept of moonlighting was popularised during the Covid-19 spread, and the issue is of public concern, specifically in the IT sector. 

In a written reply to Lok Sabha, Rameswar Teli,  minister of state for labour and employment said, “As per the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act 1946, a workman shall not at any time (type of) work against the interest of the industrial establishment in which he is employed and shall not take any employment in addition to his job in the establishment, which may adversely affect the interest of his employer.”

The statement comes  after a question was asked whether the government should consider moonlighting to be  sufficient reason for firing employees. It was further added in the question  whether the government has observed that lay-offs  are happening are a result of moonlighting. To this, Teli added, “Employment and retrenchment including lay-offs are a regular phenomenon in industrial establishments. No specific information is available to indicate that lay-offs are happening due to moonlighting.”

The minister  also added that no study regarding moonlighting has been taken up by the government.  

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