Employment Lawyers Can Answer Your Employment Law Questions
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Apart from working for a customer, how are you likely to affect your current employer by doing this - will you poach clients, staff, use confidential informaiton against them, etc?
So your current employer's business will not be affected in any way?
has the employer said anything about this yet?
ok let me get my response ready please
You are basically subject to a contractual restrictive covenant. It is common for employers to want to protect their business interests from unfair competition by current and ex-employees. This applies especially to employees who have knowledge of sensitive and valuable information, have considerable influence over the workforce or have strong customer connections. However, at the same time it is in the public interest to ensure that employees are free to move between employers and use their skills, knowledge and experience in a new setting.
Whilst employers try and impose certain restrictions on their employees, under the doctrine of restraint of trade, any contractual term which seeks to restrict an individual's freedom to work for others or carry out his trade or business is illegal and unenforceable. The exception is when the employer can show it has a legitimate business interest that requires protection.
Legitimate business interests (LBIs) are commonly accepted to include:
An employer cannot impose a restrictive covenant merely to stop someone competing, but it can seek to stop that person using or damaging something which legitimately belongs to it, such as an LBI.
The most common restrictions, and the ones that apply to you, are:
In summary, the law on restrictive covenants is very subjective and depends largely on the individual circumstances of the business and the LBI that needs to be protected. There are no set rules and procedures, apart from the requirement for the restrictions to be reasonable and go no further than is required in the circumstances. Therefore, it is usually only down to the courts to establish whether a restriction is enforceable and, if so, whether an injunction should be granted or damages should be awarded. However, I must say that in your circumstances that is unlikely.
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