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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50210
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I am working as a Project Manager for a Pipeline Inspection

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I am working as a Project Manager for a Pipeline Inspection company. I`ve got a job offer from a competitor but in my contract there is a part called "schedule 1" where are some restrictions like Restricted Business, Restricted Time, Restricted Period. The Employee can really prevent me to work for a competitor as a Project Manager?

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. firstly can you tell me how long you have been with your employer please


This is the most interesting part for me:

1.3 You will not during your employment or during the Restricted Period without the

prior written consent of the Company, either solely or jointly or in partnership or

association with or as director, manager, agent, employee or representative of or for

any other person, firm, company or other organisation (including, for the avoidance

of doubt, GE/PII Pipeline Solutions, Tuboscope Pipeline Services, N.G.K.S., 3P

Services, Baker Hughes Pipeline Management Group, BJ Process & Pipeline

Services, Lin Scan, TD Williamson, Rontgen Technische Dienst, Analytic Pipe,

Weatherford Pipeline & Speciality Services en SGS) or by way of a joint venture,

directly or indirectly in competition with the Company carry on or be engaged,

employed, concerned or otherwise interested any Restricted Business within the

Restricted Area provided that this clause shall not preclude you from holding any

share or loan capital (not exceeding 3% of the shares or loan capital of the class

concerned for the time being issued) of any company whose shares are listed or

dealt in on a recognised stock exchange.

Ben Jones :

Ok thank you leave it with me I need to look up a few things and then get my advice ready.I will post back on here when done there is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded.


Ben, that`s great, thank you in advance, if it`s needed I can past the meaning of Restricted Area, Business, Employee and Period, just let me know



Ben Jones :

Many thanks for your patience. 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.


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. So if they are simply preventing you from working for a competitor when you will not be infringing on their LBIs in any way and adversely influence their business, it is unlikely that such a restriction would be enforceable or fair.


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.

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks


Ben, thank you for your answer, please close the question. Thank you.

Ben Jones :

Will do, many thanks and all the best

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