As costs continue to rise, some employees may be considering ways of increasing their household incomes to help manage the pressure. One means of achieving this could be seeking additional employment, over and above their main/primary job. As an employer it can lead to some concerns around performance and capability, especially if a second job will be on top of a full time role; but given the current circumstances you need to be prepared to field enquiries about second jobs and have a clear position that protects your interests whilst acknowledging the needs of the employee. So how can you prepare and what can you do to support your staff?
Open the conversation
If you think one or more members of your team may be considering taking secondary employment, why not open the conversation. You may be surprised about those considering it! By having an open door policy on the subject, it will make your employees feel more comfortable about approaching you.
Like you, they may be aware that taking a second job could impact the role they fulfill for you and want to ‘square’ this with you before proceeding. Equally, they may benefit from your advice, for instance around the potential tax implications of cumulative income from multiple sources. But most importantly, having that initial discussion will give you the opportunity to understand their unique circumstances and consider alternative means of support that might not require them to take a second role. They may also just be grateful of being able to speak to someone.
Review your employment contracts
So that you’re prepared for any requests, it’s worth taking a look at your employment contracts. What do they say about second roles, are they permitted and if not, is this still fair and reasonable given the economic climate?
If they do permit second roles, is it entirely clear what the ground rules are for undertaking additional work and how both sides can approach discussions about performance? Could there be a link between a flexible working policy and second roles?
Just because a contract of employment doesn’t specifically deny someone the opportunity to have a second job, it is equally not an overt statement of support. Making it clear that you are happy to entertain this as an option within certain boundaries is far better as it sets some guidelines from the outset.
Whilst few businesses are in a position to increase wages to a level whereby employees don’t have to consider additional sources of income, being aware of the increased pressure your team may be under and demonstrating a willingness to help, could pay dividends I the long run, supporting staff well being and improving retention rates.