I recently started working full-time (i.e. 37.5 to 40 hours per week) in the UK as a permanent employee of a UK-based private organisation, with monthly salary paid through BACS to my UK bank account.

My contract of employment with this employer (i.e. my primary full-time employer) states the following:

During your employment you will:

  • devote the whole of your time, attention and ability to carrying out your duties with due care and attention;
  • not, without the prior written consent of the Company, directly or indirectly be engaged, concerned or interested in any other business whatsoever, provided that you are not prohibited from holding or being beneficially interested in, by way of investment, any shares or securities of any company quoted on any recognised investment exchange (including an overseas investment exchange) as defined in section 285 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and comprising not more than 1% of any single class of such shares or securities.

I intend to take up additional paid employment i.e. a 2nd job, for another 20% time (i.e. additional 7.5 to 8 hrs per week) for another UK-based employer (with salary pro-rated to 20% of full-time equivalent & paid via BACS to my UK bank account). This 2nd employer is a non-profit (higher education) entity, and does not compete in the business interests/segments of my current primary full-time employer. At the time of interviewing for this 20% role with the 2nd employer, I had not yet started my current primary employment, and therefore did not have the obligation to inform them about it during the shortlisting/interview stages.

The reason for taking up the 2nd job is just to try out if my skills shall be sufficient to transition to a full-time role eventually (after 2 months of trying out the new role/commute etc.). The 2nd employer is unaware of my full-time employment, and have offered to ramp up the 20% role to a 100% full-time role in 2 months time subject to good performance.

I have the following questions:

  1. To obtain consent for my current primary full-time employer for this additional 20% employment, do I have to show the contract of employment with my 2nd employer to my current primary employer (or does it suffice to simply inform my current employer via just an internal email, and ask for an email reply from the HR?)

  2. What are my disclosure obligations to the 2nd (part-time) employer? Will I have to tell them that I am already working full-time with the 1st employer? What kind of documents will I have to submit to the proposed part-time employer (i.e. current employment contract, payslips etc?). I'd like to keep the identity of my primary employer confidential. At the time of interviewing for this 20% role, I was not in my current primary employment, and therefore did not have the obligation to inform them about it. Is it still legally possible to not inform my 2nd (20%) employer about my current full-time employment.

  • Are you still within your probation period?
    – Kilisi
    May 27, 2021 at 13:39
  • 2
    Many on here will disagree but personally I believe that such employment contract clauses are unenforceable in practice, and that you should just get on with doing both things to the best of your ability, and good luck to you. As long as you pay tax on all your income you're not breaking any laws.
    – numenor
    May 27, 2021 at 14:34
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    It's probably worth considering that even if you don't disclose the existence of one of your employers to the other HMRC will know about it and, depending on the salaries involved may end up disclosing the existence of additional employment via the tax code you get
    – motosubatsu
    May 27, 2021 at 14:42
  • @Kilisi yes. I am still within my probation period, but won't be by the time I start the 20% role. Can you please clarify on how this affects things?
    – Anonvtic
    May 27, 2021 at 15:08
  • @motosubatsu That's okay. I just don't want to get into a situation wherein I have to disclose a bunch of letterheaded docs (contract, payslips etc) from the primary employer to the potential part-time employer.
    – Anonvtic
    May 27, 2021 at 15:10

1 Answer 1

  1. That's up to them. You require their consent, so it's more than simply telling them what you intend to do.

  2. You haven't signed the contract with the second employer yet. So whatever is in their contract will still apply. Don't assume you can get away without telling them

I can't help but think that this could all end badly for you. The first employer may not be happy that you're already job hunting, when you've only recently started with them.

  • It's a tough economy at the moment, and my first (current) employer is nearly a 2.5 hour commute from my home. The 2nd job is a bit of a push outside my current skill set, so the 20% employment offers a bit of a trial period.
    – Anonvtic
    May 27, 2021 at 15:07
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    So every day you've got 8 hours of work, 5 hours of commute, 1 hour of part-time work, and the basic necessities of eating and so forth. How much sleep are you expecting to get? How long do you expect to be maintaining this kind of schedule?
    – Ben Barden
    May 27, 2021 at 16:30
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    @Anonvtic - It's a tough economy, for employees, not employers. However, that is an assumption based on the fact I suspect your salary is beyond the wage, where unemployment provided you more. In other words, your employer likely has a better hand, they can easily replace you. Just remember everyone is replaceable.
    – Donald
    May 27, 2021 at 16:39
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    @Anonvtic If you are a new employee in the UK, then your employer can get rid of you for any reason they like, so long as it's not an illegal form of descrimination. You only really have any employment rights after 2 years.
    – Simon B
    May 27, 2021 at 18:17
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    @Anonvtic You're legally allowed to withhold the information. They are legally allowed to fire you for (almost) any reason.
    – Simon B
    May 28, 2021 at 20:31

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