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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45331
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I agreed to go part time to save my job but my contract of

Customer Question

I agreed to go part time to save my job but my contract of employment was not changed from full time is my old contract void
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What alleged breaches is the employer concerned about?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am now working for myself and being threatened with legal action so wanted to know. Does my contract still stand as when signed I was full time then went to part time without signing a new contract
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
OK but what are you threatened with legal action for - what claim is the employer threatening to make?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My business parter has approached my exemployers clients
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Your old contract is still likely to be valid as far as any restrictions are concerned. What would have happened is that its terms would have remained, with the slight amendment that your status would have changed to part time and any linked changes would have been made, such as your hours and pay would have changed. However, as far as all other terms and contents are concerned, they would have all remained as they were.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law on restrictive covenants and how their enforceability is determined, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45331
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for you time. My business parterner has no tie to my old company but I am been threatened with legal action
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
If he is doing this on behalf of the company you are a partner in then it could still be a potential breach.
As far as the law on restrictions is concerned, 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.
Non-solicitation covenants are there to prevent an employee from enticing away the customers of their ex-employer and as long as they are reasonable are the most commonly enforced type of restriction. Solicitation generally means “directly or indirectly requesting, persuading or encouraging clients of the former employer to transfer their business to their new employer". To be valid, the covenant should be restricted to customers with whom the employee had contact during a specified period before leaving. Other relevant factors may include the employee's level of seniority in the business, the extent of their role in securing new business and the length of similar restrictions in the employment contracts of competitors.
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.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand my exemployer point of view but I think two years seems to long
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
if it is a two year restriction then yes, that is likely to be too long
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you again
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
No problem all the best

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