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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47404
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I resigned from my job and the situation around my non-compete

Customer Question

I resigned from my job and the situation around my non-compete is unclear. until this is clarified, I won't get a second round job interview. I requested my former employer to send me all documents that I signed that would limit me in my professional activity, but I did not get any reply for a month now and so can't look for a new job. Is there a legal time frame within which I can expect a reply?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Are the prospective employers specifically asking you about your non-compete restrictions?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
yes, they do
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
and I was told that we can continue the interview process as soon as the is clarity around that
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
also, my employment contract states I have to show the non-compete clauses to my future employer. If any other documents I may have signed over my employment period that I am not aware of have similar clauses, I would violate that. So, I need all relevant documents
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Were these documents specific to you or were others bound by the same restrictions as well and are you for example able to get these by asking someone who still works there to get theirs?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Cant call.I am in south africa right now, so my prepaid would be drained in seconds.The documents are not specific to me, but the problem is that I am not 100% certain what I signed. So, I have an initial contract that I signed that restricted the NC to Europe and the US. I was sent to Asia after a while, but I never signed (as far as I can remember) the secondment letter which had a very vague and geographically not limited NC clause.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My guess is that they just dont come back to me because they know that without the information I ask them for it is difficult to proceed in the interviews
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So, my question is mostly what means I have to force them to get back to me with the information I requested
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
If you are just asking them for these documents then they are not legally obliged to give them to you and they can let this go on indefinitely. However, if you make a formal subject access request under the Data Protection Act 1998 for them to disclose any personal information relating to you, then they will have 40 days in which to provide the requested documents. If they do not satisfy this deadline they will be acting in contravention of the legislation and technically you can sue them for any losses or damages incurred as a result of that breach. In this case it could be actual/potential loss of earnings. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow to make a subject access request, 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, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It seems absurd that I can not specifically request any documents that would restrict me in my activities. I am trying in my best effort to avoid any violations, but how am I supposed to do that if I am not sure there are any restrictions I am not aware of right now.
How do I make that official request?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You can request them but they do not have to provide them, but it means that if you go on and potentially violate them it will be taken into consideration that you were prevented from knowing what and how you may violate so a court will be more lenient. To make the request you do so under Section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998 which entitles an individual to request from a data controller (in this case the employer) a copy of any information which amounts to personal data about them. The process is known as a Subject Access Request (SAR). If you wish to make a SAR, you need to write to the employer. Your letter should include the following information:{C}· Make it clear that you are making a 'subject access request in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998';{C}· Provide details of the data you are requesting copies of;{C}· Your main personal details - full name, date of birth and address;{C}· Any information you believe the organisation will require to find your information. The organisation may ask for a fee to fulfil your request, which should not be more than £10. Once you have provided all the relevant information and fee, the organisation must send you a formal response within 40 days. The main remedies open to individuals if they suspect a breach of the above rules are:A statutory request to the Information Commissioner asking them to determine whether or not it is likely that the SAR has been carried out lawfully.An application to court alleging breach of the SAR rules and seeking an order for compliance.A claim for damages against the data controller and, if the individual concerned can show they have suffered damage, a claim for compensation for distress.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
also, what complicates this a bit. The company is a US company. I was hired by the UK entity. Then I was moved to Dublin and from there to Singapore. So, even if I make that request, would they be required to send me any documents between non-UK legal entities and myself?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You would be making the request with your employer the UK Entity which would be subject to UK laws
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
but does that mean that UK entity would have to forward me any documents that I signed with the Singapore or Ireland entity?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Not unless they had access to or held these documents themselves
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok, thanks. that gives me a bit an idea where I am standing.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome, hope it gets resolved

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