Advice

Could HR solve...? Indiana Jones

20 Feb 2020 By Elizabeth Howlett

An archeology professor is neglecting his day job in favour of adventure

The problem

Dr Henry ‘Indiana’ Jones Jr is a professor of archeology by day, and an artefact adventurer by night. Unfortunately, his turbulent side hustle bleeds into his day job and Jones often neglects his professional responsibilities. The professor frequently abandons his full class list at his employer, Marshall College, disappearing to try to find the Holy Grail. Can the college do anything to keep Indy in the classroom?

The solution

Legally, it can be difficult for an employer to stop one of its employees working another job, says Alan Price, chief executive of BrightHR.While a specific clause preventing staff from working for a company in direct competition can be included in an employment contract, he explains, this should only be done to protect legitimate business interests. “Simply not wanting an employee to work elsewhere would likely not be enough to justify this, and it may be tricky to enforce it,” says Price. 

Of course, everybody only has so much energy, and the danger of someone working two jobs is that they are less productive in both roles, he adds. “Jones’s turbulent adventures are enough to tire anyone out, especially while juggling a full teaching load – it’s a good idea to have an informal meeting to discuss potential changes to the working arrangement,” says Price. If this does not solve the issue, the college may need to consider a capability or disciplinary procedure, he says – especially after Jones escapes out of the classroom window to chase after some Nazis.

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