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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47354
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have currently applied and accepted an offer new

Customer Question

Hi, i have currently applied and accepted an offer for a new role with a client however my employer is saying that i would be in breach of contract and they will have to take legal actions against me if i do so. under clause 16 of my contract it states ' you agree that you shall not without the prior written consent of the company, either on your account or on behalf of any other person, form or company either during during your employment or for the period of three months after the termination date in any capacity whatsoever, seek or accept any business, orders or custom for any restricted services from any person, form or company who at the termination date and / or at any time during the period of one year prior to the termination date is or has been a relevant customer' as i will not be taking any business away from my employer and will be starting a total different job role to the one i am currently doing will this clause stop me from taking on a new role with the client. i have the option to leave for 3 months which will both impact the employer and the client.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Will you moving to this new employer impact your current employer at all?
Ben Jones and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Ben, no the only impact to the company would be my technical knowledge loss from the business which is expected with everyone. i am currently a build engineer lead and i will be going for an environment portfolio lead role which means i will no longer be involved in the technical activities within my current position. i would also not be taking away any service from my current employer

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Other.
status states my answer is finished, i have replied to Ben's answer
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
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, but it can seek to stop that person using or damaging their LBIs by using a reasonably drafted covenant. If you are not going to use your technical knowledge or expertise to work for a competitor or to poach clients or staff then it is highly unlikely that they can do anything about this. You cannot be stopped from going to work for a different employer which does not impact on their business. This is a clear restraint of trade and likely unlawful.
Whilst restrictive covenants are mainly used as a scare tactic by employers, if an employee has acted in breach of a covenant and the employer is intent on pursuing the matter further they can do so. The following are potential outcomes if the employer takes legal action:
• Obtain an interim injunction preventing the employee from doing certain things that would make them in breach of the restrictive covenant
• Seek compensation for damages that have directly resulted from the breach of the covenants
As you can see there are no hard and fast rules on restrictive covenants. Whether a specific restriction is enforceable will always depend on the individual circumstances, the interest being protected and whether it has been reasonably drafted. The above principles are what the courts will consider when deciding whether a restriction is going to be legally enforceable. It should give you a good idea of what to look for in your situation and decide what the chances of this being pursued further are. However, in this case it is rather unlikely they can convince a court to do so.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you very much Ben , that was great advice. I will not be taking any business away from my current employer to my new employer as the role specified is not in any way shape or form going against my current employers contractual agreements on the service provided.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
It does not look like they have much they can use to enforce this restriction
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks Ben, if by any chance my employer took legal actions against me would i be best to consult with someone here or would i have to arrange another company to step in at the time?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Un fortunately we cannot take on any work as we only offer an online Q&A service so you would need to seek another firm to represent you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

hi i do not see any option available to select the stars, the advise given was 5 stars overall.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
I think you have already left your rating so thank you!

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