Planning to earn a bit on the side? We consider the question of other work, disclosure clauses and employer consent.
From time to time, members contact the union seeking advice regarding a term in their written contract requiring that they disclose any “secondary” employment or obtain permission from the employer or principal before engaging in such employment. A typical term can look something like this:
“You will not engage in other paid work, business or activities without the written consent of the Employer.”
While this type of contractual term is not unlawful, it does not provide an employer with an unqualified right to refuse permission to engage in outside work. For this reason, some contractual clauses properly acknowledge that “The Employer will not unreasonably withhold such consent”.
Fidelity and conflict of interest
All employment contracts, written and unwritten, contain implied duties of fidelity (good faith) and loyalty, that are owed by employees to their employer. Stemming from these are obligations to ensure an employee does not conduct themselves in a way that creates a conflict with such duties.
In general, industry conflicts arise when an employee engages in work with a direct competitor, or establishes and operates a business that itself directly competes with the employer. These types of conflicts don’t typically arise in relation to school-based education.