In today’s tough economic environment, with ever-increasing petrol and food prices, everyone seems to be looking for ways to earn extra income.
The media has played its part in cultivating the concept of ‘a side hustle’, especially among the youth, where the emphasis is on entrepreneurship. This has become so popular that it’s no longer the exception but has become the rule. Due to this normalisation of the concept many employees assume they are not in contravention of their employer’s rules when doing this and actually find it unthinkable that this could be a breach.
But what happens if this directly interferes with your current employment?
Well-established case law confirms the importance of the duty of good faith that an employee owes their employer.
What does this mean? Essentially, the Labour Court’s approach is that employees must disclose any outside interests to their employer if there is a policy to that effect.
Where an employee fails to disclose material activities to an employer, they act in violation of the policy and by inference the duty of good faith and may be dismissed.
Furthermore, case law on the matter confirms that employees have a duty to inform their employers of any potential conflict of interest their side businesses may have with the business of their employers.
The lesson: If you have a side hustle, be honest and play open cards with your employer.
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