How did the hot debate on moonlighting start?

Sep 22, 2022

By: Malini Bhupta

Rishad Premji of Wipro tweeted on 20 August -

“There is a lot of chatter about people moonlighting in the tech industry. This is cheating - plain and simple.”

Credit: Forbes

What is moonlighting?

Moonlighting refers to a practice where employees take up other assignments while they are working full-time for one company or enterprise.

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Who is defending this trend?

A user tweeted Premji, "Very easy for you to call it cheating but please take into consideration 1) With such low salaries how does an individual survive with the inflation. 2) Many of us have senior citizens parents to look after, who obviously can’t be employed due to the age limit set."

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CP Gurnani counters Rishad Premji on Twitter?

My thoughts on the trending 'M word'... It's necessary to keep changing with the times, and as always, I welcome disruption in the ways we work…

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Is it wrong?

Holding two jobs or taking on assignments from competitors without disclosing it to the employer is definitely unethical.

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Is it Illegal?

If an employee’s contract forbids him or her from taking on similar assignments, then it is illegal. Companies and governments in the United States of America have policies that require employees to disclose if they are taking on such assignments outside of their regular jobs.

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Is this trend of working on multiple jobs new?

In the United States of America, this trend is not new and has been on the rise since 1996. According to US Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics, multiple jobholding rate has increased to 7.2 percent in 2018 from 6.8 percent in 1996.

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In India is this more recent?

Moonlighting has been around for the longest time and professionals from creative industries have toyed with the idea, but it has become mainstream only after the pandemic.

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IBM India Boss Sandip Patel joins chorus against moonlighting

“All of our workers when they are employed , they sign an agreement that says they will work fulltime for IBM. So moonlighting is not ethically right for them to get into…”

Credit: Twitter

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