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I've had my first full-time job for almost 3 months when I got an opportunity to teach a 2-week course for another company on a technology that my current company is about to start using next year. It seemed like a win-win-win situation:

  • I'd get to earn extra money during my vacation.
  • I'd get the opportunity to improve my skills and make myself more valualbe at my full-time job.
  • The company I'm doing the contract for will have somebody to train their employees.

I decided to take the contract and subsequently informed my manager that I'm going to take 2 weeks off as vacation time, revealing what I'm about to do - by contract, I'm obliged to reveal to my company if I have engagements with other companies. He seemed a bit concerned:

He was ok with me doing this but noted that this was an "exception" and that "vacation is given to rest, not for doing extra work" and raised some concerns regarding burnout. All this seemed a bit strange to me since there was an apparent benefit for my company If I carried out this 2-week course during my vacation.

The course was a success and the company I did it for asked me to carry out more sessions in a few months. I plan to take the rest of my vacation for that, but I'm not sure how to share this with my manager again.

EDIT: I edited the original question - There's a moonlightning clause in my contract. I'm obliged to disclose If I'm working on anything else. Does that include vacation?

closed as off-topic by Jim G., Michael Grubey, gazzz0x2z, Rory Alsop, gnat Dec 11 '18 at 7:57

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  • In other words as long as you are not doing something crazy like working for a competitor you get to do whatever your heart pleases – Victor S Dec 8 '18 at 3:58
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    You should check your employment contract. Most include clauses that prevent other work without authorization (Check for a moonlighting clause). That will include during your vacation. – Martin York Dec 8 '18 at 5:31
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    You may not feel like it now if this is your first full-time position, but in 12 months you're almost certainly going to wish you had spent your time off, well, off. Burn-out is real - and is one reason most governments mandate minimum paid annual vacation allowance – HorusKol Dec 8 '18 at 9:00
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    Please add a location tag. There are different rules and regulations regarding your paid time off in different parts of the world and an answer taking in account one might be completely wrong for another. – nvoigt Dec 8 '18 at 9:39
  • Added a location tag. – Hristo Georgiev Dec 8 '18 at 11:08
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He was ok with me doing this but noted that this was an "exception" and that "vacation is given to rest, not for doing extra work" and raised some concerns regarding burnout. All this seemed a bit strange to me since there was an apparent benefit for my company If I carried out this 2-week course during my vacation.

It also creates a potential legal liability for the company:

  • Swiss employment law requires employers to provide employees with at least 4 weeks vacation time, and courts have held that the intent of this time is for the employee to recover. If you are working for a different company, it is not legally a vacation, and your employers could be found in violation of employment law. (Art. 329 OR)
  • Swiss employment law also requires employers to protect the health of their employees by taking any measures that are usually thought necessary, appropriate and reasonable. (Art. 328 OR)

Therefore, if you were to have a burn out, your employer could be argued to have illegally caused or contributed to your burn out, and thus be liable for damages.

Knowing that, your manager's stance makes perfect sense: Allow it once because that's exceedingly unlikely to be a problem, but discharge his moral and legal duty to protect your health by reminding you that vacations are for rest, not work.

There's a moonlightning clause in my contract. I'm obliged to disclose If I'm working on anything else. Does that include vacation?

Of course.

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    Upvote for explaining Swiss employment law. Let's hope the OP accepts this answer – Mawg Dec 10 '18 at 10:18
  • Yup, that's a more complete answer. – Hristo Georgiev Dec 10 '18 at 17:09
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There's a moonlightning clause in my contract. I'm obliged to disclose If I'm working on anything else. Does that include vacation?

Yes it does.

It doesn't matter when you are working on something else. It only matters that you are.

If you plan to work elsewhere during your vacation, your moonlighting clause requires you to disclose that fact.

4

Even during your vacation time you're an employee of that company (they pay you during that time).

According to your contract you're obliged to disclose work for other companies.
DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT NOT TELLING THEM!

Your manager is correct, holidays are meant to ensure that employees have time to unwind. It is in the companies' interest as well as yours.

You can try to do it again but chances are high, they won't allow it.
If they do, they'll be watching you afterwards and any slip-up and the holiday work willl bite you.

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Vacation time is vacation time. You can do whatever you want, and it's none of your employer's business.

Moonlighting aside, you can tell them you're going to teach a course for someone else when you're not at work, but you don't have to tell them a damn thing about the timeframe.

I know someone who had to push back because the boss didn't want to give time off for a video game competition because they didn't like video games. Bwah? I've had time off refused before (not with my current employer) because I wanted to go to Lodge (I'm a Mason).

Uh, no. Vacation is vacation, and #@%#@%@% your manager. Having said that, you'll have to push back diplomatically. You can't just say @%@#$ your couch, it's my vacation. You'll have to say it in a professional manner "Sorry, but it's vacation. My plans are really my own".

  • I would agree with you if not for the explicit contractual moonlighting clause. – bruglesco Dec 9 '18 at 19:55
  • That just means you have to tell them that you're doing it, not when. – J.D. Walker Dec 9 '18 at 20:09
  • Do you know that? Id wager that's included in the contract. – bruglesco Dec 9 '18 at 20:12
  • I'd wager it isn't. Vacation is vacation, and is not contingent on what you're doing while on vacation. That's laughably unenforceable. If it were, they could stop you from doing ANYTHING they don't like. I'm a taekwondo student... you think the job could enforce me not participating in tournaments? and if they can do that for vacations, who says they couldn't do that for weekends or any time off? there has to be a line somewhere. – J.D. Walker Dec 9 '18 at 20:15
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    I guess you don't live in Switzerland. This answer is just plain wrong for the location given. Sorry, it might be the way you paint it where you live, but not over there. – nvoigt Dec 10 '18 at 12:51

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