Reiterating its stance on moonlighting, IBM India has cautioned its employees not to moonlight without following proper procedures. In an internal mail sent to employees, its MD Sandip Patel said pursuing another job at the expense of IBM’s interest is a serious conflict of interest and violation of trust. 

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“IBM’s employment contracts require that employees refrain from engaging in any other employment or business in any role or capacity and not compete with IBM. IBM’s business conduct guidelines also make it clear that while IBMers, time outside of work is their own, it also requires them to avoid engaging in activities that create a conflict of interest with IBM’s business,” read an internal email, which Businessline has reviewed. 

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The tech giant had disapproved of moonlighting earlier as well. Patel had then said that the practice is “not ethically right.” His take mirrored the stances of various other tech leaders at the time. 

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However, IBM said that employees are encouraged to pursue their passion for art, dance, or music, but their personal interests should not create a conflict of interest. “We’d love to see you pursue your interests. However, if you advance a personal interest, whether directly or indirectly, at the expense of IBM’s interests, it is treated as a serious conflict of interest and a violation of trust,” the email added. 

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Patel also noted that employees should follow an approval process before taking up other activities.  “If you intend to engage in any activities outside of IBM, including work with any non-profit or philanthropic activity, please follow the approval process available here Third Party Activity & Board Approval,” he wrote. 

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Moonlighting in the tech industry has gathered a lot of steam in the past few months after Wipro’s Chairman Rishad Premji tweeted about the practice and termed it “cheating.” Most tech majors have disapproved of it; Wipro, Infosys, and Mindtree have even fired employees who were caught moonlighting. Infosys, however, has recently laid down guidelines for employees who wish to take up other gigs outside the organisation.