These comments by the minister come at a time when Wipro has fired 300 of its employees for moonlighting and Infosys has warned its personnel over the practice
Despite its recent popularity, moonlighting is not a recent phenomenon. (Representative image)
Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology and Skill Development Rajeev Chandrasekhar on September 23 supported moonlighting, saying that companies should not put a lid on employees’ dreams.
“Today’s youngsters have every sense of confidence and purpose about wanting to monetise, create more values put of his or her own skills. So, the efforts of companies that want to pin their employees down and say that you should not work on your own start-up are doomed to fail,” he said.
These comments come at a time when software major Wipro has fired 300 of its employees for moonlighting and peer Infosys has warned its personnel that moonlighting could lead to termination of their jobs.
In an email, Infosys had said that it “strictly discourages dual employment”, and it defined moonlighting as a practice of working on a second job during or outside of regular business hours.
However, Chandrasekhar does not agree.
“Any captive models will fade. Employers expect employees to be entrepreneurial while serving them. The same people can apply it personally to themselves,” the minister said at the 9th Annual Forum 2022 of the Public Affairs Forum of India (PAFI).
“Time will come where there will be a community of product builders who will divide their time on multiple projects. Just like lawyers or consultants do. This is the future of work,” he opined.
What is moonlighting?
Moonlighting refers to people holding more than one full-time job in addition to their nine-to-five employment. It also includes those who take up part-time work or gigs on the side and is not limited to the IT sector.
Moonlighting gained prominence when employees restricted to their homes during the pandemic took up gigs with no one looking over their shoulder.
Aditya Narayan Mishra, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CIEL HR Services, told Moneycontrol that there are three primary drivers to employees moonlighting — time, passion or an additional source of income without being questioned for it.