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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50209
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I currently work as an educational psychologist for a local

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I currently work as an educational psychologist for a local authority. I am thinking of setting up in private practice from April next year. The schools I currently work in are keen to buy my services from then instead of buying the authority's service. Am I free to talk to them about this as long as I do it outside work time?
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. how long have you been with the local authority and is there anything in your contract about approaching currant clients,


I have been working for them for 4 years and there is nothing in my contract about approaching any clients

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 Jones :

Apologies for the slight delay, I experienced some temporary connection issues last night on. All seems to be resolved now so I can continue with my advice.

If your contact is silent on approaching current clients of your employer, then legally the employer cannot prevent you from setting up a business and leaving their employment to pursue that. Basically once you have left their employment and started working on your own they cannot stop you from doing so or take any action to limit your activities.

The main issue is what happens whilst you are employed by them. Even if you contact them during your own time, the employer can claim that you are acting in breach of the implied term of trust and confidence which exists in every employment relationship. This requires both the employer and the employee to act in a manner which preserves the trust and confidence between them during their employment relationship. It is possible for the employer to claim that by using the knowledge and information you have gained about the clients whilst working for that employer, you are breaching that term by making arrangements whilst employed by them to work in competition with them in the future. This in itself could amount to misconduct and depending on how serious the employer views this, it could lead to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

The safest option would be to end your employment with them first and then start approaching the clients in question. If you still wish to approach them whilst employed by the current employer then just bear in mind the potential risk mentioned above, should the employer find out your activities whilst you are still employed by them, even if you do these in your own spare time.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you


Thank you Ben that helps to clear up the position for me. I appreciate your help and advice.

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, all the best

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