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Moonlighting: Why Indian firms don’t want workers to have two jobs

By | Zoya Mateen | www.bbc.com

When Sahil (name changed on request), a software engineer based in India’s capital Delhi, decided to take up a side-gig in 2019, he didn’t think it was a “big deal”.

For the past three years – apart from his day job at one of the world’s biggest tech companies – Sahil has been conducting coding interviews to screen candidates for other IT firms. He earns around $10,000 (£9,300) for each project.

His employer doesn’t need to know about this, he says, as it “doesn’t interfere with [his] regular work”.

Moonlighting – working a second job on the side, sometimes in secret – has become a heated topic of discussion in India after some IT giants issued strong warnings to employees against it.

One of them, Wipro, said earlier in September that it had fired 300 employees who were found to be working for competitors. Wipro’s chairman Rishad Premji is a vocal critic of moonlighting – in an August tweet, he called it “cheating – plain and simple”.

Others, including a federal minister, have supported the trend, saying it points to how attitudes towards work are shifting in India – but they also warn young workers to be careful not to violate their employment contracts.

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