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Vineet S
Vineet S,
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 3096
Experience:  Freelance Solicitor at Self Employed
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I have a question about a non-compete clause, i have

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I have a question about a non-compete clause
JA: Have you discussed the non-compete agreement with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: i have discussed it with HR
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Employee
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no i dont think so

Welcome to Just Answer, I am a solicitor in England and Wales and I will be dealing with your case today.

Kindly note, I am not available for phone calls at the moment, however I can easily assist you via this online chat.

I will go through your question and will get back to you with my answer shortly.

Meanwhile, please ignore any phone call request pop-up, they get generated automatically without any input from the expert, so I have no control over these requests.

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
ok thank you

Hi there,

What is your specific question please?

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
My employer has advised that my contract does not permit me to take up employment with a new employer for 1 month after my termination date. In the contract it refers to 'competing businesses'. My present employer is a news TV channel and my new employer is a news website. I do not believe that these businesses are in competition and I think therefore that the clause is unenforceable.
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
I would be unable to comply with this clause as I am reliant on the money from my new job for living expenses.

Please copy-paste the relevant clause here.

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
39;Competing Business means any business that is, or is about to be, in competition with the Business.Competing Businesses
17.3 For the period stated in paragraph 13 of Schedule 1, you shall not in any Capacity be engaged, concerned or interested in, carry on or assist in any Competing Business. This provision will not, however, prohibit you holding (by way of investment only), after the Termination Date, not more than one per cent of the shares or securities of a company which are listed or traded on a recognised investment exchange (as defined in s285 Financial Services and Markets Act 2000) or the AIM market of London Stock Exchange plc.
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
13. Post termination restrictions:
19th April 2021
Journalist – Senior Digital Producer
Head of Digital or such person designated by them As agreed with your Manager from time to time
6 months
one week
An address to be notified to you by the Company in London – though initially you will be remote-working.
40 hours a week, allocated in accordance with the Company’s rota policy in place at the Commencement Date and as may be varied from time to time.
£45,000 per year
Pension:
Employee – 5% of Salary
Employer – 3% of Salary
Private Medical Insurance
In accordance with the scheme in place from time to time.
 English public holidays; and
 25 working days (based on a five-day working week), to be taken at such time or times as may be approved or directed by the Manager.
(a) if you have less than five years' continuous employment – one month;
(b) if you have five years' continuous employment or more – one week for each year of continuous employment up to a maximum notice period of 12 weeks.
Subject to the terms of clause 17, the restricted periods will apply for the relevant restrictions (clause reference are to the specific restrictions in clause 17:
 Clause 17.3 – one month from the Termination Date

Thank you. I will go through it and will be with you shortly.

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
thank you

Hi there,

News TV and News website , both are News /Journalism .

If you are leaving News TV and joining News website , these are competing business , only difference being one is broadcasting via TV and other via web. But both are in the field of broadcasting news/News Journalism.

Hence this clause is applicable on you.

Non-compete clause are usually found in most of the employment contracts to protect the businesses /technical know-how/insider information , when an employee leaves the employment.

There is no way around these non-compete clause, if you ignore the clause, your employer can only stop you taking a new job by taking you to court . your employer can also ask for damages and legal cost from you if the matter goes to the court and your employer is proven right .

You can challenge the restrictive clause only if it is unreasonable. Your current employer can not stop you taking a new job unless it could lose them money/damage their business.

Only If a restriction would stop you getting a job that didn’t affect your old employer, then it might not be reasonable and would not be enforceable.

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Does this still apply if there is no competing business interest as my new employer is a niche publication that does not compete for the same audience.
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
I have no access to information that would damage the business

Both are in News journalism , so it can not be argued that they are not competing for the same audience.

Secondly as the time period which stops you from joining a competitive business is just 1 month , it can not be said to be unreasonable.

However, even if their restrictive is reasonable , you can still negotiate with your current employer to ignore the restriction, or at least make it shorter, if you think your new job is not competing or harming your current employer.

As explained above to get the non-compete clause enforced your employer would have to approach the court, which can be time consuming and can be very expensive. so your employer might be ready to come to a middle ground.

Vineet S and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
ok thank you for your advice.

You are welcome.

Thank you for using Just Answers. Best wishes.