Victoria Lindsay, who worked for the Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), posted photos of her cake making business on Facebook while signed off from work due to severe anxiety. The tribunal heard that Lindsay's side business had long since been approved by the company.
James Champness, senior associate at law firm GQ Littler, said employees usual have the right to operate a side business.
He told HR magazine: "Generally speaking, there is nothing to prevent an employee from engaging in a side hustle, providing they are carrying it out outside the normal working hours of their 'main' employer, and the side hustle is not in breach of their contract of employment. Nevertheless, employers may still be concerned, especially if the side hustle comes into conflict with the employee’s main job.
"Areas of concern may include employees who use their normal working hours to work on their side hustle (at the expense of their performance of their main role), ownership of any intellectual property created during a side hustle, and reputational issues that may bring the main employer's business into disrepute."
Businesses need to communicate with employees about what is appropriate with a side business, Champness added.
He said: "It is advisable that employers should communicate with their staff about what is expected and acceptable about external roles, and allow these to be discussed openly if required.
"At the same time, it is important to keep employment contracts and HR policies under review to ensure they are drafted to include terms that, if necessary, prohibit a worker from carrying out secondary employment, or that require prior permission to be obtained before any external activities are undertaken."
Read the full article here.