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Do your employees have a second job? Have you assessed your increased risk exposure?

Only 9% of employers felt there were not additional risks to their organisations with people who have more than one job.

Source – Partners& employer survey.

The start of a new financial year is the ideal time lay the foundations for the year(s) ahead. It’s a prime time to reflect on and reassess processes and procedures your business has in place particularly those which ensure adherence to insurance and legal obligations.

Towards the latter end of 2022, at the height of the media coverage of the cost of living crisis, unprecedented inflationary levels resulted in an influx of individuals taking on a second job in order to make ends meet and maintain financial stability.

The necessity of second jobs for some individuals was (and remains) understandable given the current economic landscape. At the time, in light of the UK candidate shortage, many employers who were unable to bridge the gap for their employees evolved financial needs took a compromised approach to the situation. Whereby, so long as the employees work remains unaffected employers refrained from overreacting to a valuable employee seeking additional income.

Maintaining adherence to Working Time Regulations

Outside of any contractual agreements made with an employer, there is no legal reason an employee cannot obtain a second job so long as their total working hours do not surpass the weekly 48 hour average over 17 weeks as outlined by the UK Government.

5 key risk exposures associated with second jobs employers should consider:

  1. Employee Wellbeing
  2. Regulatory fines
  3. Health & Safety
  4. Reputation
  5. Future proofing and planning – increased flight risk

Employee Wellbeing

If employees are – by financial necessity – being forced to work increasingly long hours, then there is a genuine risk of “burnout” to be considered. Burnout is often characterised as being only to do with workplace-induced stress, yet the reality is that it often arises from experiencing a combination of stresses. Regardless of cause, the outcomes of burnout are not ones that any sensible employer would want to encourage.

It should also be noted that excessive work and/or burnout can also impact employees’ wider health. After all, it is a relatively short step from extreme stress to potential mental health concerns, and likewise employees who are not able to rest and recuperate effectively may be more liable to physical health issues.

Regulatory fines from HSE

Unless an employee has formally ‘Opted out’ of the Working Time Directive, it is the responsibility of both employee and employer to maintain compliance. The HSE are responsible for enforcement of this law and businesses could suffer considerable fines if not correctly managed.

Health & Safety

Employers have a responsibility to protect the health and safety of their staff. Amongst other factors, the heightened risk of fatigue in individuals working two or more jobs can lead to the magnification of health and safety exposures for businesses.

“This is particularly problematic in potentially hazardous industries such as construction and manufacturing where tiredness poses a real risk to the employee and those around them. Clients need to be diligent on their Health & Safety obligations for employees who might need to work longer weeks or with secondary employers to combat financial burden. Should an incident occur by the fatigued employee resulting in injury or damage it could create an issue for the company if they have not documented with employees that they are not to undertake any second jobs.”
Richard Grosvenor, Client Partner, 

Reputation

Employees working for extended periods due to their second jobs have higher likelihood of becoming fatigued, maintain focus or engagement in their primary work activities, resulting in lower productivity or inability to perform the desired level endangering the reputation of the business.

Future proofing and planning – increased flight risk

In addition to the availability implications employees with a second job might pose, employees exposed to another place of work may increase likelihood of ‘job-hopping’ if the pay/ benefits package is more desirable. As a result, leading to resource implications for the business in the short or long-term making it increasingly difficult to plan resource for new or ongoing projects.

Mitigating the risks of second jobs

With the cost of living crisis still posing a challenge to many and technological advances in addition to the snowballing growth of the ‘gig economy’ the likelihood of employees adopting a ‘side hustle’ or second job is on the rise. Therefore, it is important employers document awareness of second jobs and take all reasonable steps comply with legislation as well as implementing procedures and processes to safeguard both their employees and the business.

67% of employers are aware of employees experiencing financial difficulties.

Source – Partners& employer survey.

69% believe that their employers have a responsibility to support their financial wellbeing

Source – Partners&

Supporting employee’s financial wellbeing

As an ongoing measure, particularly where financial wellbeing is the leading motivator for employees seeking additional income. Partners& would strongly recommend employers help workers better understand and control their finances should be part of their risk mitigation.

Launched in the Autumn of last year, The Partners& Financial Wellbeing hub guides employees through the four key steps to financial health, and includes useful signposting around taxation issues, state benefits, debt management and a simple guide to the savings and investments too. This low cost, quality employee discount scheme, will help employees control both their finances and everyday expenditure.

For a free risk consultation to explore any unmitigated exposures in your business, connect with one of our advisers today by phone 03300 940177, or by email contact@partnersand.com.

If you already have a dedicated Partners& adviser, feel free to reach out directly and they will be more than happy to support you with any questions or advice on navigating particular inflationary challenges you might be facing.

Take a peek at our new look Wellbeing Health and Protection brochure