Dealing With Staff Taking On A Second Job

Peninsula Team

February 26 2010

If you have any queries regarding the working hours of your employees, call the Advice Service now on 0844 892 2772 and one of our trained advisors will be available, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Many workers are currently looking for a second job not only for the extra income but also to give them more employment security in the current economic climate. There is no employment law legislation that stops employees having a second job; although there are some things employers need to be aware of.

The working time regulations states that there is a maximum number of hours that employees can work each week (averaged at 48 hours a week), although employees can choose to opt-out of this if they choose. The regulations do require an employer to take reasonable steps to ensure that workers comply with the 48 hour limit and it is therefore advisable if you have employees working over 48 hours because of a second job then you should have a signed opt-out agreement from your employee.

Employers should also review contracts of employment as they may well have a clause preventing employees from doing anything that is a potential conflict of interest or could bring there business into disrepute. Much will depend on what type of business employers have and what current contracts state. For example the majority of employers are not going to be happy if there employees are doing some extra hours at a rival company.

In very extreme circumstances there may be grounds for dismissal if there is clear evidence total hours are putting H&S at serious risk.

We would always attempt to persuade employees to be honest with their employer about any other employment as the other employment may provide additional skills or provide an explanation for any recent poor performance. It is safest to ask employees with second jobs to sign an opt out and leave it to the employee to decide. Under normal circumstances employers must not unilaterally reduce hours if an employee declines to sign an opt-out. You could however, write to such an employee advising that the employee consider reducing their hours in their other job. Remember the position is different for young workers and mobile workers in the transport sector.

If you are a Peninsula client and require any advice, remember, our Advice Service is on hand to help. Just give them a call on 0844 892 2772.

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