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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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, I have been sent a text message by a former employer

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I have been sent a text message by a former employer (who I was with for only 2 months, approximately) stating that he has recently had a meeting with his lawyers, and wants to reiterate that I cannot work for a competitor of his company for 12 months following my departure. He then asked me for who I work for now and my current position.
However, I have checked the contract that he issued to me at the time and there is no non-compete clause written into it.
Of course now I am more than a little confused/worried as I believed that I was fine taking up employment with a company that would be considered a competitor to this person's business. Is there any other way that such a restriction can be enforced? Am I correct in thinking that it will have to have been written in my contract?
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Yes any restriction must be agreed or in writing. Your contract forms terms and conditions of employment and are the terms which both parties are bound.
If it is not a term, then you can not be bound. So if the non compete clause is absent you can't be stopped.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Alex,

Could you clarify this for me please - I have been looking into this online recently and a question was posed by someone who was querying whether their non compete clause was valid.

The situation was that there was no non compete clause listed in his contract (like with myself) but that something was listed within the company's employee handbook instead. Can non compete clauses be written into something like that at all?

My situation is that the company in question was a start up, and had no company handbook at all...



Hi Dean. If there was no compete clause anywhere, you can't be bound.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

That's what I thought, though technically he could, if he were so inclined and were feeling particularly vindictive, create a company handbook with such a clause in now and then claim that it was made available to me at the time, right?

He can't claim retrospective.
Does that help?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry, what I meant was basically that he could lie and create an employee handbook today and then claim that it was available to me during my employment (which, of course, it wasn't).

Can a non compete clause even be listed in a document such as a company handbook?

He could try but then you know one didn't exist. He would have to show that it was at the time and you had it, ie signed for.
Does that clarify?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks yes, it does. I didn't sign anything (including even my contract), and certainly not a non compete clause.



Great. You are ok then.
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I am just following up on this. Is there anything else I can help with? If so, please let me know.