Side hustles will likely be on the increase due to the cost of living crisis which is driving people to secure additional income, these can range from operating a full blown business to short term contracts / freelance work. With social media ever on the rise, influencing territory will happen more, while selling on various e commerce sites for entrepreneurial individuals can turn into running an online shop.

Shawthorpe outlines what businesses should consider when handling employees’ supplemental incomes.

Business Reputation

Employers need to consider whether an employee having a side hustle can bring their business into disrepute. Reputational issues can be very significant, particularly when an employee is client facing, so the activities need to be consistent with the image of the employer.

Productivity of the Employee / Moral of Other Staff Members

Working extra hours for a side hustle can have a negative impact on employees performance, especially if they are working long hours. Research has shown productivity declines with a person who works longer than 50 hours per week. We also have to consider other employees within the business, this could impact them picking up more work should the employee with the side hustle become tired, and not being as productive, also discussions of side hustles could also be deemed as negative, where an employee could discuss more about this than their primary role.

Working Time Regulations

The limit applies of 48 hours irrespective of the number of employees involved Under the Working Time Regulations. Sensibly an employee needs to declare any second jobs, the employer can then consider to reduce their hours to comply with the 48 hour limit, should they exceed the limit, their primary employer could be held responsible, unless an employee has opted out, this really could present issues over an employee’s work in their own time.


Without a doubt it is advisable that employers consider their stance on side hustles. The wording in contracts and handbooks should be clear , whether it is the case that employees should seek permission to take on further work, or whether this is strictly prohibited. It is advisable to consider implementing a policy that protects their legitimate business interests, without impacting on their private life or wellbeing. It is encouraged to have open discussions as finding out the reasoning behind your emplyees wanting to pursue further work will help gain a better understanding and increase trust, this may prevent problems arising.

If you are looking to seek support on any HR issues why not give Shawthorpe a call on 01952 263973.