Second Jobs and Side Hustles

Written by Kevin Murphy
6 January, 2023

Should we allow second jobs and side hustles?

It’s no secret that the cost of living crisis is hitting everyone hard right now. Are your employees taking on so-called ‘side hustles’ or second jobs to cover for their rising living costs? If so, what is the legal position here? Read on to find out.

Do I have to allow a second job or side hustle?

A side hustle is one way an employee could make more money outside of their main job. They could take up a second part-time role for another employer in their free time, or it could involve them starting their own small business.

On a base level, the law does not prohibit employees from having two jobs. Whether or not your employees would be allowed to work two jobs would be mostly based on your express terms in your contract with them, which should have a secondary employment clause to govern this aspect of the relationship. 

While it is true that the implied duties of employees to fidelity and confidentiality do exist, if the contract itself is silent as to secondary jobs, they may only assist you in limiting what employees can do in their second job – such as working for a competitor or creating conflicts of interest.

There is a further issue to consider here – the 48-hour maximum average weekly working limit imposed by the Working Time Regulations 1998. If your employees have not opted-out of this limit (usually within the contract of employment), then you must take all reasonable steps to ensure the weekly working time limit is complied with – which includes any second jobs they may have. 

You should check your contracts of employment now to ensure that you have both clauses in there, properly drafted. The current climate, combined with a lack of contractual certainty in this area has the potential to be a real headache for employers.

If you do decide to grant permission for employees to work second jobs, you should include the right to review this position at least annually, so you can assess any adverse effects a second job could have on your staff working for you, such as performance, productivity or attendance.

Law Change: Ban on Exclusivity Clauses!

On 5 December 2022 the law is changed to prevent employers relying on exclusivity clauses (stopping staff working a second job) for employees and workers who earn less than the lower earnings limit – currently £123 per week. This is based on the net average weekly earnings – calculated based on a 52-week average.

If you have an exclusivity term in your contract stopping staff from working two jobs, and you have employees – or zero hours workers – who earn less than the lower earnings limit, your contracts need to change.  The exclusivity clause is no longer enforceable.  You can simply issue a variation to contract letter so get in touch for a free copy!

Let us help cure your HR Headaches 

Speak to Employment Law Solutions if you have any queries about your current staff or if you wish to make changes to your current contracts.  We can answer any query in regards to your employees and a dedicated lawyer would love to review your current documentation for you, free of charge.

We offer 24/7, 365 guidance with a mission to help you get on with doing what you do best – running your business. Protecting your business will always be our main priority. Call us today or get in contact by email for a free consultation on the issues you are facing.

Call us on 01270 781 006

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