BT did a series of polls to understand the views of people on moonlighting in India. The majority of voters were against the practice of moonlighting as they felt that Indian companies must ban this practice - (Twitter - 51.7%, LinkedIn - 47%, Telegram - 73% and Instagram - 51%). But, the voters on YouTube had different views as a majority of the voters, that is 49% felt that companies should not ban moonlighting.
One of the YouTube voters commented, "People don't understand the meaning of moonlighting, it is not only doing more than one work, that is ok, but also helping the rival companies and taking clients away from the company by giving them lucrative offers, how can this be my free choice".
Back in August, Swiggy announced a 'moonlighting' policy for its delivery boys allowing them to take up a part-time job with another company while they are still employed with the online delivery company.
The policy of allowing the employees to do a part-time job after shift hours divided $130 Bn -dollar-plus Indian IT industry.
While Wipro's Rishad Premji said moonlighting is “cheating, plain and simple”, Ex-Infosys director, Mohandas Pai came out in support of it as he said, "No, moonlighting is not cheating".
The issue gained weight as Wipro went on to fire 300 employees for secretly moonlighting for its competitors.
This evoked multiple reactions from fellow IT employees and the general public.
BT Poll results
As part of the second set of polls, BT asked if moonlighting is cheating. A majority of the voters across platforms said, no it is not as 'it is my free time and my choice' (Twitter - 44%, Linkedin - 49%, YouTube - 56%)
Though, the voters on Instagram had a different opinion as 36% of them said it depends on their contract with the employer while only 29% said that it is their choice to do a part-time job during their free time.
Recently, Harpreet Singh Saluja, President of NITES, said “Moonlighting is not a new thing. Infosys founder Narayan Murthy was working with Patni Computer Systems when he founded Infosys. Flipkart was founded by Sachin and Binny Bansal while they were working for Amazon".
What does the law say?
Section 60 of the Factories Act, 1948, "prohibits the double employment of adult workers in factories. However, its provisions on double employment do not apply to organisations that don't run factories".
RPG Enterprises Chairman Harsh Goenka said Swiggy's moonlighting policy applies to its delivery boys who can't be compared to the IT employees who deal with high-level clients for whom "data secrecy is sacrosanct".
'Moonlighting' is still a nouveau concept for Indian corporates and it will take some time for the firms to formulate clear guidelines on the same.
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