I would like to take up a part time second job as a tutor, but our company policy says we are not allowed to do so even on days off or after work hours. I would like to know why companies wouldn't allow part time second jobs, after work hours. Is it common for companies to have such a policy?

(from a comment below) I just started 2 weeks ago. I do not like their policies and very strict rules, not being able to access the internet in the office and no grace period even just one minute of tardiness. It pays below minimum too and the job is unbearably boring. I can be hard-working and very focused when the job is interesting and pays better. Guess I have to let go of this company and find better company with better and more flexible polices.

  • 4
    This is very company specific as some organisations do and some don't. If you want to find out why your particular organisation doesn't support part time work you will need to contact your HR department and ask them the reasoning for it. They can give you better insights into their company policy than we can.
    – Jane S
    Aug 30, 2015 at 6:39
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    It can also be country- and position-dependent. I agree that talking to HR is the first step. Among other things, they may interpret that policy differently or know of specific exceptions.
    – keshlam
    Aug 30, 2015 at 7:11
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    While this question might appear primarily opinion based, I think that there could be a few possible anwsers / suggestions as to possible reasons for this rule that could be useful, so I don't feel this is a close-worthy question. Aug 30, 2015 at 11:26
  • What kind of job are your working at right now? Don't disclose enough to allow someone to dox/identify you, but if you're working for something like a school or professional tutor company, I can see them viewing you as poaching clients if you're tutoring on the side.
    – Cloud
    Aug 30, 2015 at 13:43
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    It sounds like you really should have kept looking for another job. Get out there and do that now. Aug 31, 2015 at 14:35

3 Answers 3


In other threads about (unreasonable demands of employers for long) weekly working time I have replied that a 40 hour working week is the most effective way of working. It has been proven that people working 60 hours a week actually produce less in results than others working only 40 hours. So if your own company gave you a 20 hour job on the side after your 40 hour job, they would actually pay more to get less done. If they force employers to do unpaid overtime, they still get less done but they don't care because it doesn't cost them money, that's why it happens.

If you do a 20 hour job on the side elsewhere, then you will get likely a lot less done in the 40 hours of your main job. I wouldn't be happy with that as an employer.

  • While I covered a similar notion (performance peaking at 40 hours per week), do you have the paper(s) on hand to cite that? I mention the point, but don't believe in it as a universal fact. Many people are capable of being productive past the 40 hour mark.
    – Cloud
    Aug 30, 2015 at 13:36
  • I think I am capable of working over 40 hours. Plus I would do it on my free time (on weekends) or after office hours. I don't think it would affect one's productivity unless he overdo it (like working extra 6 hours a day). If I am to do that, (extra 3 hours part time) I would still have enough rest and sleep. Aug 30, 2015 at 13:43
  • The first time I read it was a study by Eysenck about arms production during WWII in Britain. You would usually expect some loss of productivity due to reduced motivation, but not when you are producing weapons to defend your country. In that case, weekly production by workers doing 57 hours was lower than weekly production by workers doing 48 hours.
    – gnasher729
    Aug 30, 2015 at 18:20
  • That said, the OP called his job "incredibly boring". There will be jobs boring enough and with little enough work that you can do them for longer time. But that would be "40 hours present at work", not "40 hours working".
    – gnasher729
    Aug 30, 2015 at 18:32
  • A major problem with this answer - you could say the exact same thing about taking night classes (continuing education) or just something for fun (learning pottery or whatever), yet any contract which says "Employer shall not take night classes, pottery classes, etc." is obviously not acceptable. If you want to take night classes, you do not need your employer's permission. Full stop.
    – Brandin
    Aug 30, 2015 at 23:11

just to be clear these are not necessarily my thoughts but I can provide some answers from the company point of view for you. It does also depend quite a bit on what your primary and secondary work is...

The first reason is that a company may expect you to work beyond the minimum hours or effort. If you have other projects or duties, there will likely come a time where your performance at one or both will be affected by time or mental strain.

The second major reason is conflict of interest. While it's not always the case, most people who have a side job will be using similar skills to their main occupation. Whether that is coding, SEO, IT support, trading or painting houses... So what happens if you come across a client that could be serviced by job A OR job B?

Also you should be mindful that some employers or colleagues may take it as a sign that you do not enjoy or value your main work.

If you are keen to do extra then I would think about your reasons why and also any questions or objections that your main employer may have. Be ready to address them when you have the discussion, but be fully prepared to accept that most companies might not allow it for any of the reasons above or others.

Hope this helps you understand from the other side.

  • Most people I know do extra sidework to provide some extra income. Especially in IT, it is quite easy to make some more money by doing websites for friends or small local businesses. Aug 31, 2015 at 12:38

There can be lots of specific reasons (many company specific so I voted to close), but here is one reason why from my own experience.

I had a full time employee who had an extracurricular job doing slimming classes a couple of nights a week. We worked 9-5, her job rarely involved overtime etc so no issue right?

I noticed her productivity went down (and wasn't too hot to start with), ĺots of time on calls (to users you would think), lots of work from home requests.

When I looked into it, although the club was a couple of hours twice a week, that was the tip of the iceberg:

  • Constant emails from her own email to prospective clients, venues, the club management etc
  • calls were to clients as follow up
  • work from home to facilitate club related activities

But the main thing was, the part time role was THE FOCUS of her interests, not the main job, so primary interest was there, and the main job just paid the bills (she was 10years+ into the main job, so hard to shift without lots of documented proof of poor performance which had never been kept prior to me taking over).

So you don't need to be a conflict of interest, or working lots of hours, doing a second job can still be detrimental.

  • It was tricky, made the point that we were in second place but there was little available to try and interest the employee and the issue was representative of a number of big issues in the company and I ended up not staying, culture was far too ingrained to do anything other than put myself in a stress-related illness longterm. Majority of staff were 10yr-30yr veterans, refused to see any other way of doing things. Aug 31, 2015 at 14:36

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