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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49816
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Thank you for your answer. I need to ask you more questions

Customer Question

Thank you for your answer. I need to ask you more questions to see if I understood correctly.

With regard to point/question 1, in both cases they cannot force me to sign the confidentiality agreement. And, therefore, I do not run the risk to face repercussions - i.e. to be sacked, to see a reduction on my payroll etc. In this case, as I am disappointed, can I propose them the garden leave for me?

With regard to point 2, I would be grateful if you could correct me in case I am wrong. The clause prevents a judge a) from interpreting the whole agreement applicable when the agreement itself contains an unlawful clause and b) to declare not valid a clause because it contains an unlawful part. If this is correct, a) and b) contradict each other. So, how this is possible? Is it because the law wants to safeguard both Parties?
So, the two cases are the following: the court can ignore the unlawful provision (which would be bad for me) OR can amend it in order the measure/clause works (which would be better for both Parties). Despite the court can delete a provision/measure/clause, the court will not re-write it (which would be bad for me). Therefore, it is not easy to delete the unlawful clause. That is the reason why, the court is going to declare the provision/clause/agreement not valid. If this is the case, I do not understand the point, as the last point contradicts when

- the court can ignore the unlawful provision
- the court can amend it in order the measure/clause works.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Your previous question is unfortunately not visible can you please briefly let me know what it was about or even better, provide a link to it

JACUSTOMER-wlp5w2mu- :

I am working for a company that I am about to leave. They want me to sign a confidentiality agreement with two clauses: if I understood the first clause correctly, I do not like it; I am not sure to have understood the second clause.

This first clause is:

"the employee shall not without the prior consent of the board for a period of 12 months after termination of the appointment, directly or indirectly, on his own behalf, or on behalf of any person, firm or company a) within the territory set up, carry on, be employed in, provide services tom be associated with, or be engaged or interested in, whether as a director, employee, principal, shareholder, partner or other owner, agent or otherwise, any business which is or is intended or about to be competitive with the business save as a shareholder of not more than three percent of any public company whose shares or stocks are quoted or dealt in on any recognised investment exchange

Question 1: in case of resignation, does this clause prevent me for the following 12 months to work for another company that operate in the same industry or to work for any other financial institution? If yes, can I refuse to sign the contract on the basis that a) I will be professional, b) that I will not disclose any information regarding the company for which I have worked, c) that the job market is free and nobody can force me not to work for another company or institution?

The second clause is:

"If any provision of this agreement shall be found by any court or administrative body of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable, such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the other provisions of this agreement which shall remain in full force and effect. If any provision of this agreement is so found to be invalid or unenforceable but would be valid or unenforceable if some part of the provision were deleted, the provision in question shall apply with such modifications as may be necessary to make it valid."

Question 1: Does this clause mean that if a provision is found invalid, but it would be valid by eliminating some word or sentence, the provision is valid?