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what-is-moonlighting

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What is Moonlighting?

In the current times, it seems like more and more people are working two jobs. Picking up weekend work for extra cash, selling online or even taking on night shifts is as common as having a regular nine to five. 

However, there is a point where employees having a second income can become problematic. 

If your employees are moonlighting, you may be feeling the impact in their performance, daily workflow, and overall attitude. You want your staff to show up to work always enthusiastic and ready to do their best. If this isn’t the case, it might be time to ask yourself – are they giving it their all somewhere else?

Read on to find out what moonlighting is, ways to spot moonlighting staff members, how it can impact your business, and discover how a private investigator could help you to stem this issue.

What is moonlighting?

Moonlighting is a term used to describe your employee having a second job. While this isn’t illegal, it should be disclosed to you so that you can be sure there is no conflict of interest. Many employees will have a second income of some form without it becoming an issue at all. However, if your business policies state that moonlighting is not allowed, or their moonlighting activity begins to impact their workload, this is when you may want to consider taking action.

What are the signs of moonlighting?

There are various signs of moonlighting that you can easily look out for. While these aren’t definitive, they are a good starting point. It is also worth bearing in mind that these behaviours, taken in isolation, could point to other kinds of personal or home life issues that you may need to discuss with your employee – they aren’t always a sign of a second job taking over their lives. 

If you have a feeling that your employee may be moonlighting, it is worth looking out for signs such as someone who is asking to leave work early or arriving late in the morning. This could mean that they are struggling to balance two jobs on differing shift patterns – and this may also lead to tiredness and poor concentration, another signal to keep your eye on.

Employees leaving the office unexpectedly for long periods of time, or taking longer than usual meetings away from the premises may also indicate moonlighting. Asking for last-minute time off and escalating amounts of sick leave is another sign to keep an eye out for. 

Perhaps the most telling sign could be the behaviour of your other staff members – if they are disgruntled and unhappy with a colleague, this might mean they feel that they are having to “pick up the slack” for someone who isn’t pulling their weight around the office. 

What is the impact of moonlighting?

Moonlighting can have a serious and prolonged impact on your business. If you are paying an employee who isn’t performing or even showing up for all of their contracted hours, your business is making a loss that could build over time. 

Along a different vein, if your employee is moonlighting for a similar business to your own, they could be using their skills and expertise to cause a loss of custom to your company, simply by supporting a competitor. At the darker end of the spectrum, there could be a serious conflict of interest if they are discussing their work with your company with another, and there may even be data breaches. 

On a micro level, if your other staff members are seeing a colleague continually not performing in their job role and no disciplinary action is taken, this can have a big effect on staff morale and could cause the loss of valued members of your team. 

Ultimately, you may end up with a bigger staff retention issue due to just one employee. 

Why hire a private investigator?

While it might seem like a big jump from having some suspicions to launching moonlighting investigations, it could be a necessary step in securing your business. 

The fact is, even if you have some suspicions, taking disciplinary action without concrete proof of moonlighting could cause serious repercussions for your company. Potentially even legal action, if your employee feels they are being unfairly treated. With unfounded suspicions, you could find yourself the subject of an unfair dismissal hearing and having to pay out legal costs. 

A private investigator provides a neutral third party who can do the practical legwork of looking into your employee’s activities, all without emotional involvement. While you may carry such employee investigations out yourself, a private investigator has the expertise to do so in a discrete and professional manner, saving you time, money and effort. This will also mean that, should your employee not be moonlighting, your relationship with them remains unaffected. 

Not only that, but few civilians have the kind of technology available to them that a private investigator does. This means that they can carry out their work without causing conflict or distress to your employee, and yet gather all the high-quality information you need to make an informed choice going forward. 

How can we help you?

National Private Investigators can provide you with first-class surveillance and information gathering in London and all across the UK. Obtaining evidence legally and subtly, we can make sure that anything we provide you with can be used without concern in any setting. 

Whether you simply want to have a frank and open conversation with your employee to make sure they are committed to their role with you, or you may need to take further action, the data we gather on your behalf could be your best asset in making the right call and having the facts to clarify your decision. 

If you are concerned that an employee may be moonlighting and need the proof to back up your concerns, get in touch today to discuss how we can help you to safeguard the productivity and financial success of your business.

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