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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49836
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am the chief executive of a small business. I have tendered

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I am the chief executive of a small business. I have tendered my resignation and am now in a six-month notice period. My employer wants me to continue in the role for the foreseeable future and has asked me to keep my resignation secret from colleagues, clients and investors. This makes me feel uncomfortable. Can they enforce this?
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Does your contract say they can do that?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Ben. There is no specific reference to this in my contract of employment (my service agreement). The only reference to anything of this nature is that I continue to have a duty of good faith towards the business. My primary concern is that if I continue executing my role without the client or investor knowing that I open myself to accusations of deception. I am planning to start a business in a non-competitive environment but potentially with similar clients. Thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Ben, just checking you have all you need to give me more of an answer? Thanks, Roberto
Hello Roberto, apologies for not getting back to you sooner, I experienced some temporary connection issues and could not get back on the site until now. All appears to be resolved now so I can continue dealing with your query. You would not be acting in a deceptive manner if you continue to work in the company and interact with clients whilst you are serving your notice period. It would be deceptive if you gave the impression that you are not under resignation and would continue working there or deny if you are asked directly whether you are leaving. But the simple act of continuing your work and not mentioning this does not amount to deception. There is never a guarantee that you would continue in this job indefinitely so a client or investor should not do business on this assumption, therefore as long as you do not make any representations to the contrary you would not be acting in an underhand manner. So this take me to whether the employer can do this – potentially yes, they can. It could be seen as a reasonable request by them in order to avoid any adverse effect to the business in terms of unsettling it, whether to do with the staff or clients. Assuming no representations are made that you are not leaving and things are just left as they are then it could be a reasonable request. If you do not follow it the employer could try and discipline you or place you on garden leave. If you have major concerns about this then you could discuss it with them and try to come to some sort of agreement but try to follow this request if possible, without directly misleading anyone about your intentions (i.e. claiming you are not resigning if asked directly). I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or 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
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Ben