Dealing With Moonlighting

How can the HR department in a Singapore organisation deal with employees who are moonlighting which therefore impacts their performance at work?

Dealing with employees who are moonlighting and it’s impacting their performance at work requires a careful and balanced approach.

It’s essential to address the issue directly while considering the legal, ethical, and human aspects involved.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to manage this situation:

Review Your Company Policies

Check Existing Policies

Begin by reviewing your company’s policies on secondary employment or moonlighting. Ensure that these policies clearly outline what is considered acceptable and the process for reporting or seeking approval for secondary employment.

Legal Compliance

Ensure that your policies on moonlighting comply with local labour laws and regulations in Singapore. Consulting with HR consultants is advisable to ensure compliance.

Investigate and Document

Gather Evidence

If you suspect an employee’s performance is suffering due to moonlighting, start by discreetly gathering evidence. This could include documented instances of poor performance, tardiness, or fatigue.


Keep detailed records of any performance issues and instances where secondary employment may be impacting the employee’s work.

Conduct a Meeting

Open Dialogue

Arrange a private meeting with the employee to discuss your concerns. Approach the topic sensitively, focusing on the observed performance issues without making accusatory statements about moonlighting.

Clarify Expectations

Clearly outline the performance expectations and how the employee has not been meeting them. Reference specific examples and data to support your concerns.

Listen to the Employee

Employee’s Perspective

Allow the employee to explain their situation. There could be various reasons for their performance issues, and it’s essential to understand their perspective fully.

Discuss Secondary Employment

If moonlighting is confirmed, discuss how it’s impacting their job performance. Review the company’s policy on secondary employment together and explain the need to prioritise their primary employment with your organisation.

Explore Solutions

Mutual Agreement

Work with the employee to find a solution that supports their well-being and meets the company’s performance expectations. This could involve adjusting their workload, offering flexible working arrangements, or providing support for any personal issues they’re facing.

Set Clear Boundaries

If moonlighting is allowed per company policy, set clear boundaries and expectations to ensure that their secondary employment does not interfere with their primary job responsibilities.

Monitor Performance and Follow-Up

Performance Improvement Plan

If necessary, develop a performance improvement plan (PIP) with specific, measurable goals, and a timeline for achieving them.

Regular Check-Ins

Schedule regular follow-up meetings to discuss the employee’s progress and any ongoing challenges. Adjust the plan as needed based on their performance.

Enforce Consequences if Necessary

Policy Enforcement

If the employee’s performance does not improve or if moonlighting continues to interfere with their work, consider taking further action following your company’s policies, which may include disciplinary measures.

When handling cases of moonlighting, it’s crucial to balance firmness with empathy. Recognise that employees may take on secondary employment for various reasons, including financial pressures. Maintaining open communication and providing support where possible can help in finding a mutually beneficial resolution.

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