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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48161
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My name is ***** ***** I'm from Bulgaria. I really hope

Customer Question

Hi,
My name is ***** ***** I'm from Bulgaria. I really hope that you can help me and give me an advice.
Year and a half ago I started work in a restaurant as a waitress. After my trail I singed a contract. There was a paper attached to the contract that I had to sign as well. It was an agreement between the employer and me saying that if I decide to leave, I can't work anywhere near the restaurant and it was 2 miles. I knew that if I don't sign this agreement I won't get the job. The reason I've been working there so long time is this paper. I really want to leave this job as the owners treat me not well. What can I do to change this?
Thank you
Petya
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.can you tell me have you been offered a new job.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Ben,

Yes, Its near the restaurant I'm working now

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for that information please leave this with me and I will get my advice ready for you on how to proceed with this. I will get back to you ASAP There is no need to wait on here I will email you when ready regards Ben.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Ben

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
No problem I will get back to you ASAP.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello Petya, many thanks for your patience. Post-termination restrictive covenants are a rather common occurrence in employment relationships. An employer would want to protect their business from a departing employee's knowledge, business connections, influence over remaining staff, etc. However, a covenant that restricts an employee's post-termination activities will be automatically unenforceable for being in restraint of trade, unless the employer can show that it was there to protect a legitimate business interest and did so in a reasonable way.
Legitimate business interests (LBIs) are commonly accepted to include:
• Goodwill (including supplier and customer connections)
• Trade secrets and confidential information
• Stability of the workforce
An employer cannot apply a restrictive covenant just to stop someone competing with their business or work for someone else, but it can seek to stop that person using or damaging their LBIs above by using a reasonably drafted covenant.
In your case you have a non-competition covenant, which prevents you from working with a competing business or setting up to work in competition with your ex-employer. Such general restrictions are seen as a restraint of trade and will be difficult to enforce. This is especially true in the case of a waitress who will have no influence over the business. You are not taking clients away, you are not using specific knowledge to take away business from them – there is probably nothing they can use to enforce uch covenant in the circumstances.
They will only be seen as reasonable if in the process of working in competition, the employee uses trade secrets or sensitive confidential information belonging to their ex-employer, or their influence over clients is so great that such a restriction is necessary. The length of the restriction and its geographical coverage will also be relevant.
So such restrictions are mainly used as scare tactics and often can be difficult to enforce, especially in your case where I do not see it being able to stand up in court.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Ben!

But I'm no longer waitress. Five months ago I got promoted as a general manager.

Sorry, I forgot to mation it.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
The same principles would apply. By you becoming a manager are you actually going to have a serious detrimental effect on the business if you leave? The likelihood is not