There are various reasons why people work two or more jobs. According to a recent survey, the top reasons for holding multiple jobs were to support a family (29%), clear debts (23%), pay for a child’s education (20%), fund a holiday (14%), and to pay the rent/mortgage (9%). There is no legislation which prevents an employee from obtaining separate employment when they already have a job, although the employee has some responsibility for informing all of their employers about this so that the legal maximum working hours per week is not breached.

However, although it is the employee’s choice to take up further employment, it may have an effect on each employer when it comes to being able to rely on the employee to perform the hours required. Exclusivity clauses can be incorporated into staff contracts of employment, meaning that the employee is not permitted, under the contract, to take work elsewhere. However, some contracts cannot contain this kind of clause and so it may be advisable to avoid this measure.

You should set expectations with the employee at the recruitment stage regarding the working hours attached to the role. This should include the number of hours to be worked e.g. 37 hours per week; when those hours should be worked e.g. Monday – Friday 9am-5pm, and also whether any travel outside of normal working hours will be required.

Once these are agreed terms of the employment contract, you are entitled to expect that the employee can fulfil them. If an employee misses shifts without booking a holiday or making other arrangements with you to be absent, this could be treated as unauthorised absence and the employee could be dealt with under the disciplinary procedure.

Ultimately, communication is key and if any problems are appearing concerning the employee’s commitment, for whatever reason, then you should talk to them about it. Unless amendments are made to the contract, however, you are entitled to expect that the employee can fulfil the duties you set for them to the required performance level.

For further information, please call our Advice Service on 0800 028 2420.