Thanks for your patience. I do agree that the current clause is rather broad and general and as such may be difficult to enforce. Stopping you from working for ANY pharmaceutical company is very unlikely to be fair or reasonable and as such the enforcement of that specific clause as it stands will be difficult. Had they taken the time to provide a more precise and less restrictive clause, it could have worked for them,
To answer your queries:
What do you advise me to do? And best course of action?
That is always difficult to advise on as there is no such thing as right or wrong or even best course of action – it very much depends on the employer, what they plan on doing about it and how aggressively they are willing to pursue this. Some employees will just ignore the clause and take their chances on the assumption it would be difficult to enforce, especially if you are unlikely to be directly affecting their business and using any trade secrets, confidential information, etc.
If they do not co-operate with my proposed exit terms what happens? What do I need to do and follow?
If they do not agree to these, you have to decide whether to leave anyway and as mentioned above, take the risks associated with a potential breach of this clause. To be able to do anything about it the employer must either take out an injunction, which would prevent you from working for that company or restrict what you can do with them for a period of time, or seek a claim for damages suffered as a result of your breach. They may never go as far as court, they may just issue threats but never actually sue you. Even if they did, a court would not just grant an injunction and will only do so if they are satisfied you working for the new company poses a serious risk to the ex employer and their legitimate business interests. As to claiming damages – they have to show you have caused them business losses, like taking away business or using the sensitive information obtained from them against them. That can be rather difficult
If I continue to go and work for the new company in a different role i.e Business Analyst Role, what happens?
It would make the restriction less likely to be enforceable. Clearly, the contractual restrictions were aimed at restricting you from working for them in the role you worked in with the ex employer. If you go and do something else, the chances of you using any information, links, etc will be reduced.
What potential legal action can I face? What would be the sanctions or penalties? And costs incurred to me?
I discussed some of this above already. There are no penalties as such, you do not get penalised for breaching this, but you can get sued for direct losses incurred, such as loss of business, if you poach clients away or use sensitive information to the new employer’s advantage and in turn affect the old employer’s business.
Do I need to resign as soon as possible? How do I resign? I was planning to send email below? Please advise?
If you resign you would need to work your contractual notice period so time it based on that. The email you have composed is fine, but do not expect them to agree to it that easily. However, you have nothing to lose by sending that because they cannot make things worse than they are now, the worst outcome is that you are left in the same situation you already are in.
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