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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Hi there I was employed full time and during my course of employment I have opened a company as XYZ and it didn't traded during the course of my employment . now I have resigned and wanted to start doing the business of the same trade of my ex employer and I just started and my ex employer came to know about this company and they are suspicious that my company was trading whilst I was employed and they called me to ask about this company and I said it did not traded and I sent them the scan copy of bank statements of the company accounts and since then I did not heard from them . if I want to run the same company and the business what implications I can have , please advice

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Did you have any restrictions in your contract about this?

no there was no restriction in the contract about opening a company


do you have time as I need to explain the scenario of what has happened

Ben Jones : You can explain it on here any time, if you want to provide more detail then please do so

I was working for a company for more than 10 years and the company trade is to provide temporary accommodation to local authorities . In March I resigned from the company and in april I received resignation acceptance letter whilst I was employed I opened a company about a year ago but I did not traded soon after I left the job I started to run this company .my ex employed came to know that I was having a company and they were suspicious that it was trading whilst I was employed

they called me to ask about this company weather or not it was trading , in order to keep things simple I scan the bank statements and sent to them in order to clear their doubts

and soon I have resigned from that company and made someone else as the director coz I was thinking maybe they might take any legal action

now can the new director run this company employing me in the same trade as my ex employer of providing accommodation to local authorities

Ben Jones :

Your legal position would very much depend on what restrictions there were in your contract of employment with this company that you worked for. First of all it is not unlawful to have another business at the same time as being employed by someone,l even if it is a competing one. Often it would be seen as morally wrong but it would not be automatically unlawful. However, the employer can make it a contractual condition that you should not engage in any other business or employment whilst working with them and they could also have post-termination restrictions that limit what you can do once you leave them. You said that there was no contractual restriction on opening a new company so technically you have not done anything wrong and even if you had - the employer would have only been able to do something whilst you were employed by them but now that you have left, there is little that they can do, especially as their business has not been affected by this.

Customer: Thank you Ben for your kind advise it was very helpful
Customer: I was in a dilemma weather to move forward or just stop everthing
Customer: One more thing I want to ask you is I had a confidentiality clause in my contract
Ben Jones :

What did the clause specifically deal with, and also when did it apply - during or after employment?

Customer: it says like this " All information that is or has been acquired by you during or in the course of your employment or has otherwise been acquired by you in confidence , All information that relates particular to our business or that of other person with whom we have dealing of any sort shall be confidential and ( save in the course of our business or as required by law ) you shall not at any time ,weather before or after the termination of your employment disclose such information to any person without our prior written consent "
Ben Jones :

what information do you actually have that may be covered by this?

Customer: I do not have any information all I want to know is the can I approach to the same contacts of local authority to run the business or does it stop me in doing that
Ben Jones :

the confidentiality clause itself will not automatically stop you from doing that but it obviously depends on what information you would be using in the process, so if you had any specific confidential information from that employer and you used it in the new business they could challenge it but if you are not using such information then it is unlikely they can do anything

Customer: There's no information which I could be using about my ex company all I was in doubt is can I use the contacts or departments with whom I have dealt with in my past employment in order to run the business
Ben Jones :

not unless hey ere confidential to tat business, but if they are freely available and publicly known in the industry then you can use them

Customer: Oh ok thay are just local authority contacts
Ben Jones :

no these are unlikely to be covered

Customer: That means I can approach them for my business
Customer: Thanks very much for your kind advice
Ben Jones :

yes correct and you are welcome

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