How Many of your Employees run a “Side Hustle”?

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What’s a side hustle? This is the name for the increasing trend of employees running a small business side-line in their own time, alongside their main employment.

GoDaddy, a domain registrar, have published a report which reveals that 20% of our UK workforce are considering launching a “side hustle” within the next couple of years and over 50% of them would not tell their employer. So why should you be worried about this?

This is obviously a vehicle for employees to earn extra income over their main employment income and enables them to follow a hobby, interest or passion or even to explore the possibility of a change of career. They start a small business in their own time – for example a dog walking business, selling clothes online or creating websites.

Obviously, an employee is entitled to do whatever they like in their spare time which is okay as long as it doesn’t affect their main employment with you. What if they are doing something in competition with you such as offering beauty treatments when their role with you is that of beauty therapist?

You are permitted to restrict the activities of your employees outside of work in terms of engaging in second jobs and this could include self-employment. Have you considered a clause in your employment contracts covering this point? It might be unreasonable to expressly ban this kind of activity, particularly if the employee works part-time, but if you believe their outside activity could potentially impair their ability to effectively and safely perform their job role with your Company, then a clause of this nature might be useful.

If you find an employee is doing something like this that could put them in breach of a relevant clause within their employment contract, ask them to provide you with written details so that you can then consider your next steps.

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