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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50209
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have received a letter from my previous employer claiming

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I have received a letter from my previous employer claiming breach of contract by contacting the previous companies clients
The claim is untrue
In the letter my previous employer is claiming damages
What should I do
***** *****
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How much are they claiming and have they provided any proof of their allegations?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

They are claiming £5k for breach of contract and £4,600 for loss of earnings.

They say they have evidence but have not provided it

By the way, when I left, this Employer paid me £500 less than they should have. After repeated requests I filed a claim through the small claims court



Whilst there is nothing stopping the employer from making these claims against you, if they were to take it any further then they would be required to provide evidence which justifies their claim. You cannot be forced to discuss with them any of this at this stage, neither can you be forced to pay them anything. The ball is in their court really because it I for them to take this to court if they want to get anything out of you. If that was to happen then they would need to submit the relevant evidence to convince the court that what they claim is true – without any evidence to back up the allegations you have breached the contract, they will not get very far. The above is only the start and the basic position. There is still the issue of whether the clause was reasonable and enforceable in the first place. Post-termination restrictive covenants are a rather common occurrence in employment relationships. An employer would want to protect their business from a departing employee's knowledge, business connections, influence over remaining staff, etc. However, a covenant that restricts an employee's post-termination activities will be automatically unenforceable for being in restraint of trade, unless the employer can show that it was there to protect a legitimate business interest and did so in a reasonable way. Legitimate business interests (LBIs) are commonly accepted to include:{C}· Goodwill (including supplier and customer connections){C}· Trade secrets and confidential information{C}· Stability of the workforce An employer cannot apply a restrictive covenant just to stop someone competing with their business, but it can seek to stop that person using or damaging their LBIs by using a reasonably drafted covenant. Non-solicitation covenants are there to prevent an employee from enticing away the customers of their ex-employer and as long as they are reasonable are the most commonly enforced type of restriction. Solicitation generally means “directly or indirectly requesting, persuading or encouraging clients of the former employer to transfer their business to their new employer". To be valid, the covenant should be restricted to customers with whom the employee had contact during a specified period before leaving. Other relevant factors may include the employee's level of seniority in the business, the extent of their role in securing new business and the length of similar restrictions in the employment contracts of competitors. Finally, if they did not pay you what you were contractually due on leaving they are likely to have acted in breach of contract first themselves and that could make the whole contract void, including the restrictions. So there is certainly food for thought and also factors which would likely work in your favour. They may just be issuing threats for now and not actually take this further but if they do then the above is what the court would look at, including the need for evidence. I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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