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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45365
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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MY CASE 1) My company owner is threating me that I cannot

Customer Question

MY CASE
1) My company owner is threating me that I cannot work in any travel company in UK for 1 year under “Restrictive Covenant”
Background:
1) I came to UK in Aug 2014 along with my wife and two kids on Tier2 dependent to my wife, and have right to live and work in UK.
2) My wife is a doctor in NHS and she is main visa holder to me and my two kids.
3) On 6th Nov 2014 I joined a travel company namely Explore Global UK
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Do you have a copy of this restriction?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hello Mr. Jones
yes I do have copy of service contract
I also wanted to tell you the full case so you will have a clear picture what has gone wrong with me and how I have been victimized.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
Can you please upload the clause on here
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
MY CASE
1) My company owner is threating me that I cannot work in any travel company in UK for 1 year under “Restrictive Covenant”Background:
1) I came to UK in Aug 2014 along with my wife and two kids on Tier2 dependent to my wife, and have right to live and work in UK.2) My wife is a doctor in NHS and she is main visa holder to me and my two kids.3) On 6th Nov 2014 I joined a travel company namely Explore Global UK4) I knew the owner of the company as he used to visit me in Saudi Arabia and I used to give him some business.5) My initial discussion with the owner was that I will join as Director of Sales and help him to improve the business and process in operation.6) Before my joining he took me to a lawyer company lawyer (pretended that he is helping me), and in front of me lawyer proposed that I should join as Managing Director as this way it will be easy to transfer my Tier2 Visa from dependent to work visa and we can easily transfer that.7) My owner did not allow me any time to read or go through the Service Contract. He gave me the printout along with pen and said just sign. Its normal a normal formality.8) I trusted the owner and did not think he will cheat me.9) My appointment was done simply because of the fact that owner knew that my strong market relation in Middle East Market can be useful in bringing business to Explore Global. My 20 years of experience in travel trade will help company immensely and I can set up entire company
Company Financial Situation1) After joining, I immediately went to a sales trip in Middle East using my personal and professional contacts and requested travel agents to give us more business.2) I Feb/Mar 2015 I started questing my colleague in finance that why we are not paying money to vendors (hotels and 3rd party suppliers from whom we used to buy services)3) I was informed that company’s financial status is not very healthy as Mr. Sarab Monib has been taking out company’s Cash mysteriously.4) During many meetings I requested Mr. Sarab Monib to pay the hotels and suppliers on time as they all have been chasing me for money and I have no authority what so ever in money matters. I also informed Mr. Sarab Monib that our name is ***** ***** in the market as we are not paying to our business partners on time.5) Mr. Sarab Monib did not pay any attention to me and kept on taking money out from company account and all vendors/business partners kept on chasing me. Every time I discussed the payment issue with owner he always said don't worry I will inject the cash next month, next month.6) Not only company but I lost my words and face in the market amongst the business partners and this has caused me humiliation amongst the hoteliers and business partners and mental distress.
*I have proof of 100s of emails sent by hotels in London demanding money. Many of them threatened to take legal action.Work Situation
1) Situation became so serious that many hotels threatened to legal action if my company will not pay immediately. And most of them will call me, send email and raise payment concern to me during personal meetings. Because I was the face if company ( but I have no authority on finance, I was only looking sales, operations and everything else then finance)2) In March 2015 after seeing financial problem I landed company £12K out of good gesture to rescue my company. As owner had promised me (verbally) 15% share in the company and promised that he has managed some loan from bank and would be injecting money in the company. (which didn’t happen)3) Later on I realised that he is not putting money back in the company and is making empty promises and trying to fool me around, I decided to move on and resigned.Resignationa) 24th March 2016 I resigned stating below reasons.
1) Company sent me a salary slip of Feb 2016 with reduced salary (of approx £1000). When I checked with my CFO about it she said this is going to be my new salary as instructed by the owner.2) CFO bullying behavior at work. I have been complaining to owner and also to company lawyer in writing that CFO is a lady and she has been bullying, using foul language and misbehaving with me.
But nothing happened as owner told me that she has arranged a fund of £100K to company therefore he cannot say anything to her.
So I resigned saying I am considering this as a Constructive Dismissal.
My Points:
1) Salary delay. Since my joining in Dec 2014 my salary was always delayed. May be very few times I received salary on time, otherwise company never paid my salary ontime.2) My Jan 2016 salary was cleared in the first week of Apr after my resignation and threat to him with legal action.3) Reduced my salary without my consent. I have email proof about it. Company transferred less salary to bank account and sent me salary slip with less amount. When checking my CFO said this is your salary.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Current Situation
1) Owner threat me in person saying he will not allow me to work anywhere in travel industry for 1 year because I am bound by the clause of Restrictive Covenant.2) Owner sent me an email on 7th Apr with a cc to company lawyer saying I am not entitle for any notice period salary and I am bound by the clause of Restrictive Covenant. However I had resigned on 24th March.My Question
Do I have to remain bound by the clause of Restrictive Covenant?
Since company did not honor the contract and delayed my salary always and reduced my salary without my consent.
Can I work in travel industry in UK or Abroad
can he sue me if I work in any other travel companyNature of business: Travel.
1. Company book hotels and other services and provide rates for these services to travel agents (B2B partners) abroad mainly in Middle East.2. The B2B partners who send us the business query asking rates they will also send the same query to other travel agents in London (to our competitors)3. Who so ever (my company or my competitor) give good rates, availability and fast replies wins the business.4. Its not like these customers are signed with my company. There is no commitment from customers that they will only use my company in UK.
I know these customers (mainly from Middle East) as I lived 10 years in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and before coming to UK. So they will definitely would like to work with me due to my past relation with them.Kind Regards,
Irfan
077-131-77-808
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
hello are you there
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
Yes, just reading all the info
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
Preventing you from working in the travel industry in general for a period of 1 year, or for any period for that matter, is extremely unlikely to be enforceable. Restrictive covenants can be utilised whenever necessary but they have to be drafted and applied reasonably. Preventing you from working in the whole of a specific industry is way too wide to be considered enforceable, especially if it prevents you from earning a living. He could have tried and prevented you from working for certain companies who are his clients already and with which if you worked his business may be affected. He could have also tried to stop you from using certain business connections you have to work in competition with his work or poach clients, etc. However, a blanket restriction not to work in the travel industry is going to be too wide to be considered reasonable and I cannot see any court allowing it to be enforced. He can threaten you as much as he wants but h can only apply this restriction through court and as mentioned it is so unlikely that they will enforce such a wide restriction that he should not even bother going that far. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law on restrictions and generally what is considered reasonable, 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
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45365
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
sure Mr. Jones thank you so so much. I am highly impressed by your answer not because you are talking in my favor, but you are giving me the best legal advise
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Mr. Jones are you still there
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
Yes, just getting the remaining advice ready
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
ok. I need to tell you a bit more about my case please
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months 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. There are a few different types of restrictive covenants that can be applied, these being: 1. 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. 2. Non-dealing covenants are a wider restriction and not only restrict solicitation but any other general contact with clients. The enforceability of a non-dealing covenant will depend on the interest being protected and can be influenced by a substantial personal connection the employee enjoys with a specific client. However, such a covenant will not be enforceable if it prevents any sort of contact with the client. The restriction must be focused on the specific type of contact that would directly affect the employer's business. 3. Non-competition covenants prevent an employee from working with a competing business or setting up to work in competition with their ex-employer. Such general restrictions are seen as a restraint of trade and will be difficult to enforce. They will only be seen as reasonable if in the process of working in competition, the employee uses trade secrets or sensitive confidential information belonging to their ex-employer, or their influence over clients is so great that such a restriction is necessary. The length of the restriction and its geographical coverage will also be relevant. 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 9 months ago.
company never paid my salary on time
company reduced my salary without my consent
my jan 2016 salary is paid in first week of Apr 2016 (after I threat him)
by these above points did company breach the contract
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
so if company breached the contract how can company force me to respect the contract?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
that is true - it is a other argument you can raise - that they had breached the contract and as a result the whole contract was void, including the restrictions. However, sometimes there is a clause which says the restrictions survive any breaches as they are treated as a separate thing to the contract and then the enforceability issues come into play again - that they are very unlikely to be enforceable in the first place
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
ok got it.
after resignation I went to a lawyer (my company owner also knows him) and he drafted a letter on my behalf and sent to my owner. can I copy that here for your information?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
you can do but I would not be able to make any comments on it as that would be considered a premium service
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
oh ic
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
may i kindly ask you, so what service I have paid so far please?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
the written advice, which answered your questions: Do I have to remain bound by the clause of Restrictive Covenant? Can I work in travel industry in UK or Abroad can he sue me if I work in any other travel company
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
ok all right Mr. Jones. you are right
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
No problem :)
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
so far after seeing my contract and reading my case what do you suggest me
should I go and just join any company I wish to work
or should I go to court and request court to remove this clause by which owner is threatening me
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I also need to discuss with you two letters sent by my owners lawyer and a letter from my lawyer
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
i understand i will have to pay you premium service charge to discuss these lawyers letter
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
did you notice any clause in my contract which says the restrictions will survive any breaches
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
From what you have provided, no I cannot see anything that makes the clauses severable from the main contract. I do not see these restrictions being enforceable to the extent of preventing you from working in the travel industry in general so whilst you can join the company and know that the likelihood of successful enforcement is very low, it would not prevent him trying to enforce it and causing you inconvenience in the meantime.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
to help company financially I gave GBP 12K to company in March 2015 (bank transfer)
after that owner sent me email thanking me.
he promised me 15% profit share in the company which he never gave.
but instead he helped me and paid for the lawyer fees when i was applying for my step-son visa to UK.
i think that fees would be in the range of approx. 2K or 3K not sure.
i am ready to pay that fees back to him if he demands. (i guess he will demand at some point anyway)
will it make his case any stronger if we go to court?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
i had to beg him many times to return my 12K after using my money for 10 months without any interest.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
that would not really be relevant to the issues with restrictions
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
I have to go offline unfortunately as I am in court tomorrow and have an early start
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
can i send you my full contract so you can have an expert look and see if there is something i need to know
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
I have to keep the issues in this question in line with the topic asked at the start, which is the restrictions. If you need to look at the contract for other issues then it needs to be posted as a separate query
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you so much Mr. Jones.
Good night you are so kind Sir
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
you are most welcome, have a good night
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
is there any email i can sent you and of course i know payment
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
send you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
Any communication has to be through this site - these are the rules we have to abide by
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
all right bye bye for today i will try to speak to you tomorrow.
whats the best time please
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
I am in court most of tomorrow so not sure how much free time I will have, you can post your query in the general section and if it is not me then someone else will pick it up - we are all qualified lawyers
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
:) bless you sir bye
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
all the best for now, thanks

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