I recently started working full-time (i.e. approx 37.5 to 40 hours/week) in the UK as a permanent employee of a UK-based private organisation, with monthly salary paid through BACS to my UK bank account.

My contract of employment with this primary employer states the following:

During your employment you will:

  • devote the whole of your time, attention and ability to carrying out your duties with due care and attention;
  • not, without the prior written consent of the Company, directly or indirectly be engaged, concerned or interested in any other business whatsoever, provided that you are not prohibited from holding or being beneficially interested in, by way of investment, any shares or securities of any company quoted on any recognised investment exchange (including an overseas investment exchange) as defined in section 285 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and comprising not more than 1% of any single class of such shares or securities.

I intend to take up paid additional employment i.e. a 2nd job, for 20% of my time (7.5-8 hrs/week) for another UK-based employer (salary prorated to 20% & paid to my UK bank account). This 2nd employer is a non-profit (higher education) entity, and does not compete in the business interests/segments of my primary full-time employer. At the time of interviewing for this 20% role, I was not in my current primary employment, and therefore did not have the obligation to inform them about it.

The reason for taking up the 2nd job is just to try out if I transition to a full-time role eventually with them (after 2 months of trying out the new role/commute etc.)

I have the following questions:

  1. To obtain consent for from my primary employer for this additional 20% employment, do I have to show the contract of employment with my 2nd employer to my current primary employer (or does it suffice to inform my current employer via just an email?)

  2. What are my disclosure obligations to the 2nd (part-time) employer? Will I have to tell them that I am already working full-time with the 1st employer? What kind of documents will I have to submit to the proposed part-time employer (i.e. current employment contract, payslips etc?). I'd like to keep the identity of my primary employer confidential. At the time of interviewing for this 20% role, I was not in my current primary employment, and therefore did not have the obligation to inform them about it. Is it still legally possible to not inform my 2nd (20%) employer about my current full-time employment.

  • Re 1: your primary employer does not owe you their consent. So you will somehow have to convince them that the secondary employment will not impact your primary employment. For example, you might argue that you'll only do the second job on weekends or after hours, and still have enough time for recreation. For some employers, having contacts into academia can be interesting in order to recruit students.
    – amon
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 14:19
  • @amon Yes. I am hoping that since the work is going to be in academia, I hope to get their consent. The question is, what sort of documentation/proof shall I have to provide to my primary employer to convince them that the 20% work shall be in a non-conflicting/non-competing role?
    – Anonvtic
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 15:52
  • That is not a legal question but more of a workplace/management question. If I was your superior, I'd be more concerned about you having enough time off and me having sufficient flexibility for scheduling, not about competition issues. For example, if there are clear work hours or fixed meetings, and you would be unavailable for some of them, it would be irrational to consent to this.
    – amon
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 15:58
  • @amon The higher education employer is quite flexible with the timings. 20% equates to 8 hours per week. I can get it done by working roughly 1 hour in the morning, and 0.5 hours towards the end of the day. The work is to be done remotely, on a laptop, both for my primary as well as for my 20% employers.
    – Anonvtic
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 16:06
  • 1
    @mkennedy Yes. The current full-time employer provides me with a laptop. The 20% employer shall also provide me with a laptop for my work there.
    – Anonvtic
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 12:37

1 Answer 1


You are obliged to seek the consent of your full-timer employers before commencing any other paid work, as provided in the contract provisions given in the question. Neither those provisions, nor any law I can find require you to provide any particular documentation, such as an employment contract or a list of job responsibilities, to your full-time employer.

However, that employer is under no obligation to give consent to your additional employment. Thus you will need to satisfy that employer that your additional employment will not conflict with your performance of your obligations to them. It is totally up to your employer to decide what, if anything, would satisfy them. Questions about how much time and what time you would spend on the new employment would be likely. Wanting to see your contract of employment would be at least possible. They can ask pretty much anything, and refuse consent if the answers do not satisfy them.

As to your new 20% employer, as a part-time employee they should expect you to have other employment. If they want details then can include that in your contract, or specify it in some other way. Still, it would probably be better, even if not legally required, for you to spell out who your full tiem employer is, and roughly what time you would expect to be occupied with your work for that employer, at least.

  • @Douglas Siegal, the question is, what are the procedures for requesting such a consent? If I send the HR and line manager an email explaining the 20% job duties, and ask them to email back their consent, will that be sufficient?
    – Anonvtic
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 16:08
  • 3
    @Anonvtic There is no legal requirement for the form of such a request, it depends entirely on your employer's policy, the workplace culture, and what you feel comfortable with. If it were me, I would start with an informal conversation with my immediate supervisor, followed by a formal written notice to HR copied to the supervisor, unless s/he had advised some other method. They may have a standard form for this. Commented May 27, 2021 at 16:15
  • 2
    @Anonvtic by the way, the notifications work better if you get at least the first part of a user name correct. Commented May 27, 2021 at 16:16

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