Dealing With Staff Taking On a Second Job
Given the fact that many workers in the community sector have experienced pay cuts or reduced hours as a result of funding cuts it is possible that some of these workers may be currently looking for a second job not only for the extra income but also to give them more employment security in the current economic climate. There is no employment legislation that stops employees having a second job; although there are some things employers need to be aware of.
The working time regulations states that there is a maximum number of hours that employees can work each week (averaged at 48 hours a week over a four month reference period) The regulations do require an employer to take reasonable steps to ensure that workers comply with the 48 hour limit and equally there is an obligation on employees to ensure they do not breach working time regulations. Both the employee and employer may be subject to fines if found to be in breach of such regulations.
Employers should also review contracts of employment as they may well have a clause preventing employees from doing anything that is a potential conflict of interest or could bring the organisation into disrepute. Much will depend on the nature of the services provided by the organisation and what current contracts state. For example the majority of employers are not going to be happy if their employees are doing some extra hours which in turn has a negative impact on the quality and standard of their work.
In very extreme circumstances there may be grounds for dismissal if there is clear evidence that the total hours are putting Health & Safety at serious risk.
Always attempt to persuade employees to be honest with their employer about any other employment as the other employment may provide additional skills or provide an explanation for any recent poor performance. Under normal circumstances employers must not unilaterally reduce hours if an employee is working additional hours in a second job. You could however, write to such an employee advising that the employee consider reducing their hours in their other job to ensure no working time regulations are being breached. You can also request that an employee provide you with a record of their hours from their second job so that you can ensure you are not breaching any legislation.
Remember the position regarding second jobs is different for young workers. The Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996 sets down restrictions on their hours of work. The Act applies to persons under the age of 18 years and states that 16 & 17 year olds may work a maximum of 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week. They may not work before 6 a.m. or after 10 p.m.