Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Second job risk for staff

Staff who take on a second job to earn extra cash could be putting your business at risk.

John Mehtam, our Employment Law Specialist, said employers must be vigilant in order to maintain safety standards in the workplace.

“The tell-tale signs are that perhaps the employee is looking tired and failing to perform as well as usual during the working day. This is particularly serious if your staff are operating heavy machinery as you need to protect your other employees.”

John said once an employer was certain that a member of staff had a second job, action must be taken, because otherwise the employer could be held liable if an accident did happen.

“If you don't have guidelines in place, take a view on what you want your policy to say. Many employers do allow second jobs, as long as staff ask permission first, and as long as they’re not working for a competitor.”

Under the Working Time Regulations, staff cannot work for more than 48 hours per week unless they’ve signed an opt-out agreement, so a second job could have a serious impact on the number of hours they’re clocking up.

“If you suspect someone is working for another company, it’s vital that you get them to sign an opt-out or as their employer, you could be breaking the law.”