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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47338
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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If my work contract explicitly prohibits doing private work,

Customer Question

If my work contract explicitly prohibits doing private work, is being sacked the worst ramification of ignoring this contractual term.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Please can you provide some background information on the nature of the job you do and the private work that you do also? Please can you also tell me how long you have been employed at your place of work for? Thank you

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi Ben, I am usually a self employed IT contractor, with a limited company, VAT registered. I have been working as a contractor as Head of Infrastructure for a private healthcare company for just over 18 months. On renewal I was only offered a permanent position, which I accepted at a lower remuneration than I would have liked on the understanding I could supplement this with private consultancy. On inspection of the permanent contract it explicitly prohibits private work.
I would like to know if I was to ignore this and take on private work, is the worst that can happen from the healthcare company that they terminate my employment? If so, then the extra income that I can achieve until this happens is worth the outcome. If they can somehow sue me or if there are other ramifications that I have not thought of, then it may not be worth the risk.
Kind regards
********
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Hi Jamie. Thank you for this information; please leave it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Ok thanks, ***** ***** help if I uploaded a copy of my contract?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Also, is this question private, obviously I wouldn't want this publicly viewable..?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Hi this is a public forum but nothing really to identify your employer. Your name is ***** ***** you posted it in the question but I can gt that removed so that there is no personal information visible. Happy to proceed on that basis?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I was more thinking about when / if I upload my contract, as it has my name, address and employer..
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

oh I see I do not need to see that, the potential repercussions will be the same regardless of whether I see it or not so I can reply without it?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Ok great thanks
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Thanks. So if your contract specifically prohibits you from doing private work but you go ahead and do so anyway then there are two separate potential outcomes. One is to be dealt with under misconduct and internal disciplinary procedures, the other under breach of contract, which can potentially be taken through the civil courts.

The misconduct matter is relatively straightforward in a sense that the worst possible outcome of that is a dismissal.

The breach of contract is somewhat more complex but I should be able to explain it in an understandable fashion…I hope. Basically by going against the restriction you could be acting in breach of contract. A breach of contract allows the wronged party to pursue the one in breach for that and for any losses incurred as a result of that breach. They cannot penalise you – so they cannot just impose a financial penalty for it if they have not suffered losses from it. However, if they have incurred losses, for example you did work which affected their business, like acting in competition, or your work with them suffered as a result of you not showing your full attention to their work, then these are potential quantifiable losses which they could consider pursuing you for. However, they would have to justify that these have actually been incurred so some evidence will be required on their part.

One final option is an injunction, where they get a court order forcing you to stop doing such work, but this would be difficult to get so the above two outcomes are the worst repercussions you may have to face.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.