Moonlighting: Meaning, Legality, Impact on Work Ecosystem

In August, A food delivery platform "Swiggy" announced its industry-first ' Moonlighting policy' for Impact on Work Ecosystem

Moonlighting Impact on Work Ecosystem. Tech giants like Infosys and Wipro recently declared a payout reduction for those working on side gigs for the first quarter of FY-2023.

Wipro also fired 300 employees for two-timing issues and informed others to work from the office at least thrice a week.

IBM has reckoned “moonlighting” as unethical. Such escalated criticism by Indian MNCs publicized moonlighting questions and debates.

The work-from-home model opened doorways for working simultaneously on the part-time hustle. As a result, official tasks became a second priority.

In August, A food delivery platform “Swiggy” announced its industry-first ‘Moonlighting policy’ for its workers to engage in external projects under certain conditions.

It predicts the expanding potential of moonlighting in corporate arenas leading to conflicts of interest within organizations. This article highlights the concept of moonlighting, its types, legality, and how it will affect our work culture in the coming years.

What is Moonlighting?

“Moonlighting” means being involved in dual jobs asides from regular business hours. An employee works 9 to 5 as a primary job but later has commitments with another job. Ethics concerning moonlighting are formulated in the company’s policies. Some companies object while some support it, as seen in the case of Swiggy.

Quick Facts:

In a survey of Kotak Institutional Equities, 400 people from IT&ITES admitted that 65% sought part-time jobs after logging hours. HR experts stated moonlighting is an element that makes people reluctant to work from the office in the future. Moreover, 42% of the workforce are willing to switch or quit jobs if they would not get the WFH alternative.

Types of Moonlighting:

Human Resources Management divides Moonlighting into four types.

Blue Moonlighting:

Managing two jobs a day is not a cup of tea for everyone. The system where employees find it difficult coping up with both jobs is blue moonlighting. It is a term that indicates fragile efforts at moonlighting.

Quarter Moonlighting:

It is the practice where the worker does a part-time job after serving their official working hours full-time.

Half Moonlighting:

It refers to spending more than the required time in a part-time job. In half moonlighting, a person spends 50% of their time at a part-time job.

Full Moonlighting:

It refers to managing two full-time jobs at a time. The best example is those who develop their businesses while pursuing their professional careers. Sometimes social status is defined by people’s secondary profession.

What causes Moonlighting?

Low salaries and inducements are insufficient to provide a quality life. The rising inflation rate is not proportionate to annual increments. Multiple income streams ensure economic independence. Working from home saves more time that employees grind for a side hustle. Firings and Hiring freezes.

Entrepreneurial awareness among the modern generation. Lack of appreciation also results in deviating employees from dual jobs. Boosting skills as sometimes a monotonous job doesn’t offer exposure to diverse skills. Fighting boredom motivates frustrated professionals to follow a passion or flank jobs. Freelancing sites makes it easy to connect with recruiters, which facilitates moonlighting.

The Legality of Moonlighting in India

Listed below are some laws limiting double employment in India.

According to section 60 of the Factories Act 1948, workers can not operate in two plants, but the law does not cover IT, professionals. The Shops and Establishments Act of different states restricts the dual employment of workers in retail, restaurants, theatre, etc. The Industrial Employment Central Rules, 1946, states an employee must not accept secondary employment that may affect the employer’s interest.

Terms related to moonlighting: Silent Quitting, Daylighting, and Quiet Firing

Quiet Quitting or Silent Quitting:

It is quite different than simply leaving the job. Quietly quitting employees do the bare minimum required rather than leaving the job outright. They arrive on time but request overtime pay, refute extra efforts, and draw a clear boundary between personal and professional lives.


Moonlighting slowly created the way for Daylighting. Both terms have the same basic idea: people work for numerous businesses while sticking to the law of the Commonwealth. However, dual employment is held during the same 9 to 5 hours in the daylight.

Quiet Firing:

It is a case in which an employer ignores their obligations and asks the employee to leave rather than managing them efficiently. And sometimes, they push their workers out the door.

Suggestions for improvement of the situation

Government must create Relevant industry-specific legislation regarding moonlighting. Recruiters should use analytics tools to monitor where their remote employees devour time when they are required to be with you. Recruiters can also limit how much time one must spend working after hours. Employers must clarify their rules and other policies to the employee about moonlighting. Employees must read all the norms related to moonlighting before accepting the offer.


Moonlighting is a way of doing multiple jobs without the primary employer’s acknowledgment. In one way, it solidifies the employee’s productivity, skillsets, and passion. But it also occupies rest hours, holidays, and leave, harming physical and mental health and contributing to burnout. In India, no clear legislation on moonlighting regulates every employment field. So, the idea of legal or illegal moonlighting depends on the employers and their terms of appointment.
The authored article is written by Ms Shreya Sharma- Founder- Rest the Case and shared with Prittle Prattle News exclusively.
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