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taratill
taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6342
Experience:  15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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Hi. I work for an organisation which has a restrictive clause

Customer Question

Hi. I work for an organisation which has a restrictive clause in my contract, saying I cannot work for a competitor within 6 months of leaving. I am 1 month into a 6 month probationary period with a 1 week notice period. If I leave to work for a competitor can this be enforced?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  taratill replied 3 years ago.

taratill :

Hello my name is Jenny and I am happy to help you today. Is the employer likely to suffer a financial loss as a result of you doing this/

JACUSTOMER-bcvwav04- :

I think it would be hard to prove. I have only just joined. I may have to go up against them if I join a new company, for winning new business for example

taratill :

Ok but you have not built up client contacts such that clients might follow you?

JACUSTOMER-bcvwav04- :

oh no nothing like that

JACUSTOMER-bcvwav04- :

it is a sales position though

taratill :

Ok thanks, firstly you should check if the covenant applies in the probationary period as it may not do. If it does then techncially you would be in breach of contract if you went to work for the competitor in the notice period and theoretically you could be sued in breach of contract.

JACUSTOMER-bcvwav04- :

is that likely though? especially if I didn't tell them who I was leaving to work for?

taratill :

The reality is that they could only sue you if there is a loss suffered. Given that you have not built up cllient relationships this would be hard to prove so I think the reality is that there is nothing to worry about.

taratill :

Please see above. I think that it is highly unlikely as they would have to prove a financial loss and that the covenant is not more widely drafted than necssary to protect a legitimate business interest.

JACUSTOMER-bcvwav04- :

i thought as much, but i wanted to be as sure as i can be. in reality how are you supposed to carve out a career in sales? if they did sue what would they be able to do? claim damages?

taratill :

If they did sue it would be damages but that would be limited to loss suffered. ON the basis of what you say they will not be able to show a loss.

taratill :

All the best in your new job. Please do ask if you have any further questions.

JACUSTOMER-bcvwav04- :

righto thanks. I would obviously hand in all the information i have and behave appropriately... and i don't have a new job yet, but a company is trying to poach me and i am talking to them today!

taratill :

Well all the best with this.

JACUSTOMER-bcvwav04- :

thanks

taratill :

No problem, do come back to me in the future (by requesting me by name) should you need further advice.

taratill :

Hi is there anything else you would like to know about this?