The IUP Journal of Case Folio
Moonlighting Conundrum: The Indian IT Industry's Troubled Phase

Article Details
Pub. Date : June' 2023
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Case Folio
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJCF050623
Author Name : Aravamudhan N R and Bharathi S Gopal
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 10



Moonlighting has roiled the IT industry like no other. While the Covid-19 pandemic has ringed in remote working for employees of technology firms, there has been a marked uptick in the number of moonlighting cases, as it has become a tad easier for employees to dabble in second job or business, dodging the knowledge of the primary employer. Tech companies bristle at moonlighting owing to legitimate concerns involving serious breaches of data security and trust and productivity impairment. Employers are tightening the screws on their employees in an attempt to dissuade them from taking up a side hustle for that "extra income". They are revisiting the employment contractual provisions and deploying tools and techniques to identify and prevent any risk associated with moonlighting. As the debate on multiple employment gathers steam, questions about the ethicality and legality of moonlighting practices abound. But the law is eerily silent on moonlighting. What should the government do to remove the ambiguities in the gray area? What explains this sudden surge in the number of employees moonlighting? Why do employees take up secondary employment dodging their primary employer's knowledge? Are the employers justified in calling moonlighting unethical? Can the primary employers put a stop to this practice of moonlighting, and if so, how? Is there a case for all the IT bellwether companies to acknowledge and recognize that moonlighting cannot be such a bad thing after all?

There is a lot of chatter about people moonlighting in the tech industry. This is cheating-plain and simple.

- Rishad Premji, Chairman, Wipro, in his Tweet on August 20, 2022

India IT industry could fall apart due to moonlighting.

- Subramanian, TCS COO


Bengaluru. On a balmy Tuesday afternoon in this otherwise clement metropolis, it was business as usual at Zen Skating Academy. A steady stream of parents waltzed by to enroll their children in the academy. The coach attended them courteously while keeping his eyes peeled on the clutch of youngsters skating in and out of the ground. At another corner, the coach kept his laptop alive, ready to plug into his office call on Zoom whenever his foreign clients needed him on tap. What was a skating coach doing with a laptop waiting to dive into online meeting calls? This coach was a senior programmer at a leading Information Technology (IT) company in Bengaluru, India's