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Ask Ash Your Own Question

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10914
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Fired after 2 months

Resolved Question:

I was employed by a company for 2 months and I signed a draft contract before my employment started. I have not received a signed copy back. The company fired me in my second month (1 weeks notice. No reason given) the employer refused / delayed my outstanding salary by 2 weeks. I have since received an email threatening me with legal procedure. I had a phone conversation that the employer requested an apology letter otherwise I would not receive my salary. I have sent a apology letter/email that he requested. Still no salary.

If you try to obtain works from SB contacts past/present or clients you contacted/quoted on behalf of SB during your employment our lawyers will be instructed to take action against you immediately. This is as per your signed employment contract.

I can forward a copy of my contract

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this,
Alex Watts : For now please let me know on what basis they are threatening to go legal?



By email. outlining if i contact anyone contacts or compete against the business

Alex Watts : Hi. I am just on the train so may be on and offline

no problem

Alex Watts : did the employer also sign the contract?



well. I don't have a copy

Alex Watts : ok, so only you have signed? Have you asked for a copy?



I am no longer employed. they fired me


no reason given


this is from one email "If you try to obtain works from SB contacts past/present or clients you contacted/quoted on behalf of SB during your employment our lawyers will be instructed to take action against you immediately. This is as per your signed employment contract."

Alex Watts : yes I understand that

this morning I have received an email requesting a apology letter from them otherwise I don't get paid

Alex Watts : ok, have you asked for a copy of the contract?


Alex Watts : Ask for a copy of the contract.

i only signed the draft contract.

Alex Watts : You need to see what you have signed, they can't refuse this.
Alex Watts : Yes but you need to see if they signed the contract too
Alex Watts : If they did you are both bound.
Alex Watts : Then you can check the terms and conditions to see what you can and can't do post employment
Alex Watts : However they can't refuse to pay you in the meantime, you can take them to court.
Alex Watts : Buf you must have a copy to know what has been signed

I have the draft contract on my pc.

Alex Watts : Ok.m
Alex Watts : but you need to ask for a copy of the contract to see if they have signed it too
Alex Watts : but you have a copy of the contract.
Alex Watts : if you have signed it you are bound
Alex Watts : Then you can see what you are bound by

I have signed it and gave it to them, I never received a signed copy back. Correct

Alex Watts : it makes no difference if this is draft, if you have signed a contract then you are bound by its terms

It does say a lot on it but I can figure out what i am bound to.

Alex Watts : ok.

Can I send you an extract

Alex Watts : you can if you wish
Alex Watts : But it should be clear whether it says you can't contact existing customers etc


You will not for a period of 12 months after the termination of your employment either personally or by an agent, whether on your own account or for or in association with any other person, firm, company or organisation, canvass, solicit or endeavour to take away from the Company the business or custom of any customer or client of the Company with whom you personally dealt during the 12 months immediately preceding the termination of your employment.

In the event that any one or more or any part of the Restrictions set out above shall be rendered or judged invalid or unenforceable, such restriction or part shall be deemed to be severed from this agreement and such invalidity or unenforceability shall not in any way affect the validity or enforceability of the remaining restrictions.

For a period of twelve months from the Termination Date negotiate with, solicit business from or endeavour to entice away from the Employer or any Associated Employer the business of any person, firm, company or organisation who or which to his knowledge is or was a customer, client or agent of or supplier to (or who had regular business dealings with the Employer or with any Associated Employer) during the Relevant Period and with whom the Employee had direct dealings or personal contact in the course of his employment during the Relevant Period, so as to harm the goodwill or otherwise damage the business of the Employer or of any other Associated Employer;

For a period of twelve months from the Termination Date Solicit, entice or induce any director, manager or senior Employee of the Employer or any Associated Employer or any other Employee of the Employer or any Associated Employer who has had a long term relationship and/or had material dealings with customers and suppliers of the Employer or any Associated Employer during the Relevant Period (together referred to as “Key Employees”) with whom the Employee had personal contact or dealings during the Relevant Period to leave the Employer and or any Associated Employer become employed by any person firm or company which is in competition with the business of the Employer whether or not such Key Employees

Commercial Manager July 2014


would commit a breach of contract by reason of leaving and the Employee will not approach any Key Employees for such purpose or authorise or knowingly approve the taking of such actions by any other person firm or company.

Each of the obligations contained above shall be construed as separate and severable obligations but in the event that any such obligation shall be found void but would be valid if some part thereof were deleted or the period of application reduced such obligation shall apply with such modification as may be necessary to make it valid and effective.

The Employee expressly confirms and agrees with the Employer that the Employee consider these restrictions to be fair and reasonable in all the circumstances.


this is the non-solitatation part


If I want to start a company in 6months time am I am entitled to do that?


and the dismissal clause


Immediate Termination:

The Company reserves the right to discipline or dismiss you without following the Disciplinary Procedure if you have less than a certain minimum period of continuous service as set out in the Employee Handbook.

The Employer is also entitled to terminate this contract with immediate effect and summarily dismiss the Employee without service of any notice in the following circumstances:
The Employee is guilty of gross misconduct.

The Employee is convicted of a criminal offence other than a road traffic offence for which the Employee is not sentenced to a term of imprisonment whether immediate or suspended.

The Employee commits any serious breach or persistent breaches of these terms of employment.

In cases of gross misconduct the Employee will normally be dismissed without notice or pay in lieu of notice or any accrued holiday pay. Genuine mitigating circumstances may be taken into account


Disciplinary Procedure, Code of Conduct and Company Rules:

The Company’s Disciplinary Procedure, Code of Conduct and Company Rules are set out in the Employee Handbook. You are strongly advised to familiarise yourself with them.

Disciplinary and Dismissal Appeals:

If you are dissatisfied with any disciplinary or dismissal decision taken in respect of you, you may appeal to one of the Director

Alex Watts : Ok. Have you tried to contact existing customers?



i have no existing customer data. I am however now planning to start my own company in 6 months time.


are they not in breach of contract as they haven't paid me or refusing to pay. Fire me without reason. I am surely entitled to work anywhere.

Alex Watts : But you won't be contacting existing customers?
Alex Watts : they can't stop you from working or doing what you want to do. But what you can't do is contact any existing customers.

no. I don't know who they existing customers are. But the customers might contact me I guess

Alex Watts : If you have not and do not intend to them you have no issue.
Alex Watts : You can't stop customers contacting you, but that is ok.
Alex Watts : You are not to approach their customers. Nothing stopping customers contacting you.

what can they do in terms of me setting up a business similar to theirs?

Alex Watts : They can't stop you.
Alex Watts : You just can't contact their existing customers for 12 months. That's all.

what can I do to stop the non compete?


no loophole?

Alex Watts : as long as you don't contact their customers they can't stop you.

ok. how can I get rid of the noncompete. They have fired me without a reason.


That's a bit unfair, specially that I have been in contact with customers for over 5-6 years. now being with this company for 2 months. I am no longer entitled to speak to them

Alex Watts : fire without reason you can't do anything about, you haven't been there long enough to get employment rights
Alex Watts : But you can't contact their customers, but their customers can contact you.
Alex Watts : As for non compete - they can't stop competition
Alex Watts : it doesn't say you can't start your own business
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

One more quick question. I copied the non-solictation in here. Are you sure that I can compete with them, doing similar / same work but not contact any customers I have been in contact personally while at the company for the next 12 months. They however can contact me if they wish.

Alex Watts : yes, you just cant contact the customers but they can contact you

Ok. Many thanks. I will ignore they request for this apology letter and requesting that I won't compete against them.

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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