How to manage an employee who has started a ‘side hustle’

How to manage an employee who has started a ‘side hustle’.


With new opportunities like internet and digital innovation, many more people are starting a side hustle along with their main breading winning job. Although this new found motivation and drive can transfer into the employees’ primary job, there are various legal factors which the employers must understand and consider.


There are various forms of a ‘side hustle’, ranging from a second job, doing freelance work or establishing an operating business.


I’m sure for most reading, this trend of taking a risk and trying something for yourself is not all that shocking. As millennial’s begin to establish themselves in the working world, the idea of working for yourself and on your own time seems much more appealing. This is further encouraged by media outlets showing how unstable and uncertain the job market can be. The ‘Independent’ states over 40% of all UK employees have some form of ‘side hustle’.


CV-Library completed a survey showing that of the 60% of employees which did take some form of ‘side hustle’, felt they have to work more due to feeling they do not earn enough from their breading winning source of income. A third of these stated if their employer was to increase their salary they would drop their side hustle.


There are various issues that can arise for employers regarding employee’s side hustles;


Competition Issues

If an employee begins using the same skill set they are paid to use in their main job as their side hustle, it could cause an issue of unhealthy competition.


This may be a result from a side hustle they have taken on for themselves or secondary job which is a direct competitor to their primary employer. The employer should be somewhat protected with any activities the employees engages with that conflict with their primary employers interests by a restrictive covenant in their employment contract.


Staff Turnover

It is vital employers strike a balance between too much restriction of side hustles, as it may cause the employee find a more flexible working role for their side hustle and the risk of an employee leaving their primary role entirely to work full time of their side hustle, due to lack of restrictions or motives to stay with the current primary employer.



An employee’s side hustle could begin to have an effect on their overall performance in their primary job. This could be due to work overload, distractions or job burnout. Employers must be vocal and clear of what they expect from their employees when they take on another form of work other than their primary role.


If performance was to become an issue, employers could implement a non-competition policy in the employment contract which specifies the restricted activities of the employee.


Best Practise

It is vital employers have the correct policies and procedures in place for employees involving themselves in ‘side hustles’. It is important the policies both do not prevent employees from trying outside side hustles but still protect the business’ legitimate interests.


If the employees employment contract states a side hustle is permitted, it should become an obligation to disclose said ‘hustle’ and agreed to not be permitted if it becomes a direct competitor with the primary employer or has a negative effect on performance at the  primary job. Without policies like this in place, it puts greater risk on the employer.


If you would like further information on the correct policies and procedures regarding side hustles with you employees, please feel free to contact the HPC team today.


T: 0151 556 1975


Twitter: @HPC_HRservices

Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest news and updates

Sign up now