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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 3843
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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What is the legal status of clauses in a contract made between

Customer Question

What is the legal status of clauses in a contract made between a business and a self-employed service provider that limit what the self employed provider can do after the contract terminates? e.g. a clause prohibiting provision of a similar service in the locality?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
What are the nature of the services?
Do you have the exact wording of the "non compete" clause?
Kind regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The service in question is physiotherapy The wording is: " ... The Practitoner shall not: i) For a period of two years from the Practitioner ceasing to provide the aforesaid services as an approved practitioner commence / carry on practice as a physiotherapist at premises situated within ten miles of ........, whether as principle, associate assistant, locum, deputy, salaried physio .... "
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
As a non compete that seems awfully restrictive for the following reasons:
(I) the 10 mile radius could rule out an entire city;
(II) presumably it also intends that you cannot take NHS work as well;
(III) 2 years is excessive unless the physio is particularly senior or well known and or has been paid extra to accept this restriction.
Unless there is a specific commercial purpose for this clause I would argue it would struggle to be enforceable. The ten mile radius may be ok if the employer is not based near a major city or hospital and has some need for it but coupled with the two year restriction (which is the very maximum that would be enforceable and is normally only reserved for very senior or business crucial persons) would in my opinion make the clause unenforceable.
That said it is the employers prerogative to enforce it (rightly or wrongly) so if they employee breaches it they should expect an argument.
Kind regards