(+27) 011 721 4800 (JHB)
(+27) 021 469 9702 (CT)
(+27) 031 830 5235 (DBN)
Contact Us

Moonlighting or side-hustle: Is it legal?

During tough times, employees often start a business on the side or take on a second job to supplement their income.

A side-hustle is a way of earning money alongside one’s main form of employment. Moonlighting means having a second job in addition to one’s regular employment.

The law does not expressly forbid employees from having more than one job. But employers may do more than just frown upon it when their staff start offering the same services they provide to their employer after hours or on weekends to their clients. Even worse if they undercut their employer’s pricing and start selling the same products in competition.

The Labour Appeal Court weighed in on this recently. Employees have a duty of good faith to their employers and should disclose material activities that may result in a conflict of interest. In the case of Bakenrug Meat ta Joostenberg Meat v CCMA the employee failed to do so and was dismissed.

Employees: When not to take on outside work
• If your employment contract expressly forbids it.
• If it’s in conflict or competition with your employer’s business.
• If you’re using company resources (time, equipment, etc) to earn money on the side.
• If you’re no longer able to function at your main job because you’re too exhausted from your second job.

Employers: Drawing the line between a “day job” and a “side job”
You’re well-advised to include a clause in your employment contracts outlining your policy in this regard. This may vary from industry to industry.

Not sure what to include? Contact us and we’ll review your employment contracts in line with your business objectives.