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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50172
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I'm providing a cleaning company where I employ cleaners and

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I'm providing a cleaning company where I employ cleaners and I have some questions regarding to the employment contract.
1. I would like to include in the employment contract a paragraph that would protect my company from breaking the non-competition requirement by my employee. Is there any legal way to agree some sum of money that I would automatically have a right to claim from such ex-employee. Or what's the best way to protect my company against such employees action?
2. My employees cleans domestic houses and they use their private cars to travel between clients every day. Am I obligated to pay back their travel costs and is there any way to avoid this other than employ on self-employment basis?
3. I would like someone to review my current employment contract and search for any legal risk and prepare a better version

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Do they work on a self employed basis?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ben. Nice to meet you.No, they have contract of employment. Please see the attached file

Thank you. To answer your queries:

1. You cannot realistically have a pre-agreed amount you can claim from them – no court will really enforce this. You can potentially sue them if needed but the court will only award such costs as it deems reasonable and necessary and which are a reflection of the losses suffered. So agreeing an amount is pointless as that will unlikely reflect the actual losses. So I would remove clause 9.2 as it can easily be seen as a penalty clause which is unenforceable..

2. You do not have to pay them for travel costs, even if they are employees. You have the option to do so if you wanted to but it is not compulsory. S there is no requirement for you to actually pay them petrol costs.

3. This would be classed as a premium service as it will take some time and it is not an easy task. If you need me to do this then I can send over a quote which you can consider.

I hope this has answered your query so far. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. 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

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ben.Please give me a quote regarding to point 3. I'm interested to pay more to have it done properly. There is no rush with it and it can easily wait until next week.I'm still thinking about no 1. Is there any other way to protect my company? Can I have any separate agreement or employee signed declaration? I had already few such cases and really need to find some way to stop it. Claiming actual loss is not easy and cost me more than I can have back.

The best way to do this is to have a well-drafted restriction in the contract - you cannot prevent people from just going to work in competition - that is not illegal, it is a restrain of trade. So in reality it can be quite difficult to enforce

Ben Jones and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you, ***** ***** with me please I will work on it and reply back on here in the next few days

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I accepted your quote. Then if you could please try to rewrite the non-competition paragraph the best way possible.My main problem is that my existing clients and my employes sometimes decided to work directly outside the company. I'm loosing employee, client and money at the same time.
But I wouldn't like to ask my clients to sign any contract as having no obligation is for my clients something that makes their decision to use my services more easy.I'm sure you understand what I mean.

Yes of course, I will consider that

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What if my employee would give me a signed letter that he agrees to voluntary pay £££ amount if he would break the non-competition paragraph from the agreement? Would it be possible to claim such amount if this would happen? Is that any idea that could help in this case?

If they pay you as agreed then fine, but if they refuse to pay you, even if they have previously agreed to it, you will find it rather hard to enforce it in court

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand. Thank you for your explanation.

No problem, I will get back to you in due course

Hi, as promised please find attached new contract

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi BenThank you for preparing the contract for me. I have some questions:1. Would you be able to explain the meaning of 9.2
2. Paragraph 10 is not saying anything about the consequences. Is it correct?
3. If my employee would breach paragraph 10 how can I calculate the money I can claim and what could be included (legal cost, lost of business value, lost of business in future like for next 1 year)Would you be able to answer?Thank you

Hi Marcin,

1. Clause 9.2 says that the employee is not bound by the confidentiality requirements if they are to make a protected disclosure, examples of which you can see here:

2. It is not common to say what the consequences are, this is not required - a breach of the clauses automatically gives you the right to make a claim for breach of contract

3. That will very much depend on what the breach is and how it has affected your business - you cannot make a calculation in the contract, you have to see what the actual costs are - legal costs cannot be claimed if your overall claim is for less than £10,000, the loss of business is something only a court can determine based on various factors, so really your only option is to make a claim and then let the court determine the value which you should be compensated by

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ben. It was very helpful.Best regards

You are most welcome

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello BenI was thinking if we can still prepare such declaration that my employee would sign, even it technically it would not be possible to claim any money on this basis. The letter would say a that if my employee breaches paragraph 10 he declare to pay reparation cost based on company loss but not less then £2000.It's just to make people thinking twice before they would do such thing.Would you be able to prepare it for me please?

Hi, if you wanted to include such a clause as a deterrent then it would not be much different to what you already had in place, for example:

10.4 In the event of a breach by the Employee of any of the restrictions in Clauses 10.1 or 10.2, the Company reserves the right to charge the Employee the amount of £2,000 for every customer the company has lost as a result of such breach.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi BenIt would be great if you can help me with another contract of employment. I want to employ Branch Manager for the same company. I prepared checklist what should be in my opinion included in the document and also the list of duties I can say now. Obviously if you suggest to change anything feel free.Please if you can give me your quotation if you are available to help.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
checklist attached
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben. Did you get my question? Are you able to help?Best regards

Hi sorry for some reason it did not show up on my list. If you could please post this as a new question for my attention then i can consider it later today after i finish in court and will send you a quote for the extra work. Many thanks