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Everything to Know About Moonlighting in the IT Industry

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By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read

Recently, the concept of moonlighting has come to the surface, especially among workforces and companies in the IT industry.

The topic has sparked debate between the CXOs and employees of various companies, and a definite conclusion has yet to be reached. If you’ve recently come across this term and don’t know what exactly it means, let us help you out.

What is Moonlighting?

Moonlighting is the practice of taking a job outside the primary workplace. This is usually done without the employer's knowledge, and the person indulging in the activity does so after normal working hours.

The second job could be in the same field as their primary job or outside. Irrespective of this, it is called moonlighting if they’re doing two jobs.

What Caused the Discussion and Debate Around Moonlighting?

During COVID-19, when working from home had become the norm, several employees across industries and countries began taking up second jobs outside normal working hours. Although the lockdown was lifted, several companies opted for hybrid infrastructures.

However, in recent months, the Indian IT company, Wipro, fired 300 employees for moonlighting. Many of these employees worked with other firms, which led to their ousting. The chairman of the company also deemed it to be ‘cheating.’ He tweeted, ‘There is a lot of chatter about people moonlighting in the tech industry.  This is cheating - plain and simple.’

Companies such as IBM and Infosys also warned their employees and threatened to fire them if they participated in the act. A mail was sent out to staff members of Infosys by HR, and it mentioned how the employees should check their employment contracts before taking up another job. In fact, the company even let go of some of their employees for the same reason.

While there were such strong and firm stances towards the subject, few people didn’t take a definitive stand, and even fewer spoke in favor of the action. For instance, the CFO of Tata Consultancy Services termed it an ethical dilemma.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

On the other end of the spectrum, Swiggy announced that it would let its full-time employees take a second job after working hours or on weekends, based on certain conditions. The company’s release statement said, “This could encompass activity outside of 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.”

Fintech company Cred mentioned how it encouraged side hustles. It also gave the example of their Head of Design and Engineering, who happens to be in a Carnatic band called Agam.

These were the overall reactions to the subject. However, moonlighting is a concept in India and several countries, including the USA. Although the concept has existed for a while, the number of cases has increased since the pandemic began, and hence debates have surfaced.

Is Moonlighting Illegal?

In countries such as India, there are no specific laws on moonlighting. This means that people can take up several jobs at their convenience as long as they don’t violate the non-compete clause of their primary company.

In the USA, there are no specific laws around this subject. However, some companies disallow moonlighting because it might cause issues such as a lack of productivity, conflict of interest, misuse of employer’s resources, and more. For instance, federal employees are supposed to receive salaries from only one federal government source.


Moonlighting seems like a serious issue for many companies, mainly due to the conflict of interest that the employees will face.

However, from the employee's perspective, it does seem unfair to work for just one company without having a second job that could serve their finances, interests outside the workplace, or both.