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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47362
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My husband and I run 2hairdressing salons one of which was

Resolved Question:

My husband and I run 2hairdressing salons one of which was opened 7months ago one of the stylists that was employed to work there 3days a week under contract has recently.left claiming to have child are issues and was giving up work we have since found out that she is working (self employed) in a salon about 4miles away(the stipulation in the contract is half a mile)but was soliciting our clients whilst still working for us .in this day and age everything seems in favour of the employee but I am sick of always bearing the brunt of matters especially as we supported this through pregnancy provided a stable income in order that she could obtain a mortgage (she handed her notice in the day after competition of that).we think the reason she has left us is that in February she was asked to help as the salon needed her to work one Sunday for about 4hours (she would have been paid) in order to set up and help run a stand at a bridal fair.we don'tusually work Sundays but as we needed her we felt one Sunday was not too much to ask.she initially said yes but then refused saying it wasn't in her contract ti which we pointed out that it was if we needed her therefore with with all these facts we feel aggrieved and are now having to rebuild the newly opened salons reputation but feel we have been taken for mugs is there anything we can do
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Just to clarify what are you hoping to achieve in this situation?

Customer: As I have proof that the stylist in question tried to solicit my clients whilst in my employment I want to know if I can do anything about that as she was in a position of trust she has also taken data (iephone numbers)and denied it I just feel that employers are walked all over and want to make a stand
Customer: I also wonder what the point of contracts are if employees are able to treat employers like this
Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry I was in a meeting by the time you had replied. I am just getting my response ready for you

Customer: Ok
Ben Jones :

When an employee solicits clients whilst employed by their current employer that employer’s main way of dealing with such issues is through the disciplinary process whilst they are still in employment. It could result in them being issued with a warning or even dismissed if necessary.


 


There is little that the law offers in terms of protection when it comes to such matters once the employee has left the business. It is possible to have post-employment restrictive covenants which restrict the employee’s activities once they leave the business but as you have said these are unlikely to be breached because the employee is working outside of their restricted area. Also these restrictions only deal with the employee’s activities once they leave their employment, not whilst they were in employment with you. It is nevertheless still useful to check whether there is anything in them that could make them in breach now, even after they have left.


 

Customer: As I have proof she took my data what can I do about that as my clients give that to the salon and surely that is a breach of data protection
Ben Jones :

ok if she actually took the data rather than just soliciting them by contacting them it could give rise to further rights but they won't be easy or cheap to implement and pursue.


The Data Protection Act could help but it would not assist you in compensating you for any losses incurred – all that can happen is the employee is fined for their breach but it does not extend to compensation for your losses.


 


There could be the option of seeking an injunction to stop the employee from using such data or to force them to return it but you would have to go to court to do so and there will inevitably be associated costs with doing so, over £1,000 for certain and possible more.


 


So the advice generally is that in these circumstances prevention is better than cure, which I understand does not help you much here, but you still have the option of following one of the above routes if you are desperate to pursue this

Customer: She also sent us a text categorically stating that didn't take any data therefore she has lied can I do anything about that (a letter of warning maybe from a legal?
Ben Jones :

The lying is just lying - hardly anything can be done to penalise someone for lying about this, the key is not whether she lied but what she actually did and if that breached any laws, such as the data proteciton etc

Customer: ok thank you please can you send this conversation to the email address I've supplied in order that my husband can see it
Ben Jones :

We cannot email customers unfortunately but you can try and save or print it. You have a few options:
a) If you see a 'share' button and hover over it you can see the option to print.
b) You could copy and paste this conversation into a Word document or equivalent. You can then save and/or print it and refer to it in the future as necessary.
c) This conversation will be stored in your account on this site so you may return to view it or do any of the above at any time

Ben Jones :

Have you managed to save this?

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