Are your staff starting a side hustle?

Pot, kettle, black?

Unless you have been living under a rock this past week, you would of heard the most recent cost saving advice from good old Boris! Buy a new kettle and save £10 on your annual electricity bill… OK Boris, thanks for that, is that new kettle going on your expenses?

Although this advice is terrible and other tips could be given, the fact we are in a recession and have a gas and electricity bill crisis is no joke. We are at a point in time where people will be looking to make extra money and fast so they can make ends meet.

Do employee side hustles impact employers?

Now the easiest for some people would be a pay rise, and you may have already been approached by some staff members about this, but it’s not always as easy as this. So, what’s the alternative?

Cash on the side…

I can predict the rise of the side hustle, but what does this mean for you as an employer? It is a very controversial topic, especially for business owners who have a small, tight knit team. If your employee has a second job or a profitable hobby, are they dedicating as much time as they should be to your business?

How do I protect my business?

So how do you stay protected? First of all refer back to your employment contracts, do they cover anything in there regarding another job or self employment?

If you don’t have a contract – get one! If you do have a contract but the above is omitted, speak to your HR company about having them updated.

Should I be supportive of employee side hustles?

As an employer you are not an owner of your employees, as nice as it would be that they didn’t have a second job, you cannot give them an ultimatum. Why?

It will be at that moment they will either quit or start to plan to leave. Instead, encourage open discussion if this is the case, take an interest in their hobby, but most of all set boundaries and be very clear! If the second income is in the same industry as you operate, discuss confidentiality, poaching and non-disclosures.

If it creeps into their day to day job with you, then you can review their working hours with them, as this is not acceptable. If their work isn’t impacted, then you shouldn’t be too worried. In fact, they may be more productive in work as they appreciate the support you are giving to them.


Finally, make sure they don’t get into any hot water (no pun intended), if their profit from their hobby is over £1,000, remind them that they will need to register with HMRC and complete an annual tax return.

Any income from a second job should already be being taxed, but if you or one your employees requires advice or assistance with this, then please contact us at Quay Accountants to see how we can help.

Picture of Liz Ridley

Liz Ridley

Liz is the managing director at Quay Accountants. She set up this firm of certified chartered accountants in Greater Manchester, believing that clients deserve the highest level of service.