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Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33534
Experience:  Barrister at Self Employed Barrister
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My partner has a clause in her contract to say that she is

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My partner has a clause in her contract to say that she is not allowed to work for any competitor within a 5 mile radius upon the contract ending. The issue is that she currently lives within 1/4 of a mile of her current place of work, meaning she will have to travel at least 5 miles in order to work once she leaves.
Our house is also 1/4 a mile away from where her daughter goes to school (her school is almost next door to where my partner works).
Do you think we have any weight to an argument that this is an unfair clause?
HiWhat does she actually do?
ivorylounge and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

She is a personal trainer.

She has a licence agreement with a company and pays them £400 a month to use the facilities run by a 3rd party company

I see. Has the employer threatened to pursue her if she decides to work elsewhere?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It looks likely if I'm honest. There has been numerous issues going on over the past 6-8 months which has led us to raise the subject briefly, and I get the impression they will try and hold her to it.

Ok. Such clauses are actually very common. An employer seeking to protect their business from a departing employee's knowledge, business connections, influence, 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 are commonly accepted to include:Goodwill (including supplier and customer connections)Trade secrets and confidential informationStability of the workforceAn 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.I think that you have an argument. There are no guarantees in this area of law. But I would be surprised if she has specialist knowledge - clearly there may be a concern about stealing clients - but that is it really. Even then if she is good enough is 5 miles going to be enough for such a role? Whether a specific restriction is enforceable will always depend on the individual circumstances, the interest being protected and whether it has been reasonably drafted. The above principles are generally what the courts will consider when deciding whether a restriction is going to be legally enforceable. It should give you a good idea of what to look for in your situation and decide what the chances of this being pursued further are. Happy to discuss. Please rate positive.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, that's good. I've also been looking at her licence agreement some more and I've added some of the wording here, as I think it gives us more weight...

Your Personal Training UK Limited whose registered office is Iveridge Hall, Wakefield Road, Oulton, Leeds LS26 8EU ("the Licensor")

1.1 “Facility” shall mean the area or areas listed in Schedule 1.

Schedule 1 - Facility
The geographical area will be: Bristol

12.1 The Licensee shall not for a period of one year and within a radius of 5 miles from the Facility after the termination of this Agreement be directly or indirectly involved with a third-party business that competes with the Licensor. This shall include, but not be
limited to, the development, promotion, sale or supply of any products or services that compete with the Products and Services supplied by the Licensor.

If I read this right then the contract is saying she cannot work within 5 miles of Bristol as a whole which is extremely restrictive. Could you confirm please?

Well I certainly think that she has an arguable case with regard to the restrictive covenant clause - as set out above there are no guarantees in this area of law - but in light of para 12.2 I would be unclear of the need for clause 12.1 which is the clause which concerns her most. Thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Awesome. One final question before I'm done. 12.2 - would she be ok if her current clients asked her where she was going in order to follow her?
That is them approaching Jo not Jo approaching them?

That gets very messy to honest - and can just make matters worse
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK many thanks.

Sorry I didn't understand how the site worked, so I thought you had to rate each answer.

As I've only given you OK, I've given you a tip of £8 as you have been very helpful.

Many thanks


My pleasure