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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46170
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Today i have received a letter from my ex employer Whom i am

Resolved Question:

Today i have received a letter from my ex employer Whom i am taking to court in October for 100% deduction in wages for 4 months. However the letter i have received today states he is in the process of making a claim against me for breach of contract with regards ***** ***** such as solicitation of customers etc.., My question is does this claim stand as i have been told that the restrictive covenants will generally not be binding if he is found to be in breach of the contract.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Did your contract state that the restrictions could be treated as a severable clause of the contract?

Customer:

Yes i think so, under the dismissal section it states, the company shall be entitled to terminate the employment...if he employee shall commit any serious or persistant breaches

Ben Jones :

Do you have the exact wording of this by any chance?

Customer:

Have you received the scanned pages ok

Ben Jones :

Thanks, ***** ***** see such a clause in there so this would not be an issue in your circumstances. So you are correct that the employer may not be able to rely on the restrictive covenants clauses that are contained in your contract if they had themselves acted in breach of contract first. In these circumstances the whole contract may become void and take with it all clauses contained within it, including the restrictions. The Breach by the employer has to be material though, it cannot just be a trivial matter. However, deduction of wages is a serious issue so it could easily qualify. Assuming the employer has failed to discharge their duties under the contract and pay you as per its terms, then it could make the whole contract void. Please note that this does not stop the employer from making a claim against you in the first place – they can still do that. It just means that it would then be for the court to decide whether they are able to pursue this or your argument as above would stand.

Customer:

so before paying for legal advice as i have been advised by my ex employer, should i just wait to see if a clam is submitted. Could this a counter claim to my claim which the hearing is set for 10th October

Ben Jones :

you do not need legal advice for now, until a formal claim has been made this will just be a threat, which may not proceed any further. But they could make a counter-claim to your and the two will be considered together

Customer:

will i be informed of the counter claim prior to the hearing date and could this delay the hearing further

Ben Jones :

yes you will be informed and it could postpone the current hearing to allow the two to be consolidated

Customer:

One last question, should i have signed each page of the contract, as i believe it may have been changed , i was not issued a contract copy at the time of signing and didnt receive one until after the wage dispute had taken place ( i requested it a number of times)

Ben Jones :

No, there is certainly no legal requirement to sign each page of the contract, this is not commonly done in employment situations. Whether this was varied or not is a quesiton of fact that will be examined by asking the parties in court and it will eventually decide who is more likely to be telling the truth

Customer:

ok but the page i signed does not state anywhere that it is connected to the contract - its just a blank sheet of paper with employee signature and date and employer signature and date. Is this ok

Ben Jones :

if it was issued at the time then yes it can be ok

Customer:

ok, Thank you for your advice,

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome

Customer:

How do i rate your advice, the rating section is greyed out

Ben Jones :

Apologies for that, there is a bug in the system which we sometimes get and it prevents you from posting your rating. Instead, you can just type your selection on here (e.g. OK, Good, Excellent) then we will process it manually later. Thank you

Customer:

Excellent service.

Ben Jones :

many thanks

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46170
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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