Are My Employees Moonlighting with Another Company?

With cost of living rising, many employees are turning to “moonlighting” to meet financial obligations. But what is moonlighting and what can you do if you think a second job is to blame for poaching of clients or your employee’s drop in performance?

Global Investigations can help to confirm your suspicions and provide evidence required for any subsequent action with our due diligence, covert surveillance, and much more.

In this post, we explain what moonlighting is, why it can be harmful to your business, and how a private investigator can help to deal with the issue.

What is Moonlighting and Why Might it be a Problem?

Employee moonlighting is a situation in which an employee has more than one job. This may be for a second employer, or they may be venturing out to start a side hustle.

Moonlighting cases have surged since working from home became mainstream. This is down to the fact that it has made it easier to work on a second job or business in the absence of an employer’s watchful eye.

Although moonlighting may not be regarded as a major threat to everyone, some employers or private organisations have policies in place that prohibit it and may take strict actions against the employees found to be moonlighting.

Below are some of the issues that can arise from moonlighting:

Drop in Performance

There is often a knock-on effect on performance when an employee dedicates a considerable amount of time to their second job. Less downtime can lead to a lack of motivation, decreased performance and increased tiredness – all of which will reduce the productivity of the employee at their main job.

Health and Safety Implications

The Working Time Regulations set specific rest breaks and maximum working hours in the UK. If you have consented to your employee working elsewhere, you will need to ensure your compliance with these regulations.

If your business uses drivers or manual workers, health and safety issues will be far more relevant and can result in reprimands if they are not met.

Working for a Competitor

The biggest risk to your business is if your employee is working for a competitor or starting a business venture within the same sector. Your employee’s access to confidential information, such as client lists, procedures/ documentation, or proprietary information, could be used to divert business to a different company or towards their own interests.

What are Some Warning Signs my Employees are Moonlighting?

As previously mentioned, a main sign of employee moonlighting is first indicated by a drop in performance, but the most destructive sign is if you are suddenly losing a higher number of contracts than normal, or if you notice many clients taking their business elsewhere.

You may also find that competitors are all at once providing a very similar service or product to you. This may be due to data and information leakage from within, which can severely affect your bottom line.

How Can a Private Investigator Find out if an Employee is Moonlighting?

Private investigators or private detectives can be instrumental in confirming your suspicions that your employee is moonlighting. Our specialist tracing agents and profilers can undertake an employment trace, due diligence / background check or undertake surveillance.

If you suspect your employee is working for another company or competition, Global Investigations can do an employment trace to confirm this, which includes a combination of database checks, open-source intelligence, and local enquiries.

If you believe your employee may have started a business, a private detective can perform a due diligence or background check to investigate if your employee has other businesses under their name. If that is the case, then we can gain information about company financials, assess websites located, investigate social media profiles and client conflicts, and much more. 

As a specialised detective agency, we can also perform covert surveillance. Private detectives are trained in the art of covert surveillance, ensuring that the subject is not aware of any surveillance operations taking place.

For instance, we can follow your employee during their lunch break, before work or after work to determine if they are taking business meetings behind your back and with who – this could be with a current client of yours or with a competitor for instance.

Can I Fire an Employee for Moonlighting?

Whether you can fire an employee for moonlighting depends on your company and terms of the employee’s contract. Employers may discourage their employees from moonlighting due to conflicts of interest, impact on job performance, poor attentiveness/fatigue, or as a result of other factors.

To determine if you are within your rights to terminate employment based on moonlighting, contact your legal representative.


You may be searching for a ‘private investigator near me,’ but there is no need to. Global Investigations work UK wide and globally, so no matter where you are in the UK or abroad, we can help!

If you would like to discuss how our trained private investigators can help with your moonlighting concerns, please contact a member of our team on +44 208 287 7770.

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