Many thanks for your patience. It is a rather common occurrence for employment contracts to contain post-termination restrictive covenants. An employer would understandable want to protect their business from a departing employee's knowledge of confidential information, business connections, influence over clients, suppliers, staff, etc. However, a covenant that restricts an employee's post-termination activities will be automatically unenforceable by 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.
The first thing to consider is what legitimate business interests (LBIs) can the employer try and protect? The most common ones are:
- Goodwill (trade connections with customers and suppliers)
- Trade secrets and confidential information
- Stability of the workforce (preventing poaching of employees)
If they are trying to protect an LBI, any relevant restriction must be drafted no wider than is reasonably necessary to protect that interest. Generally, the courts would try and balance the interests of the employer's business and the employee’s right to freedom of movement and to earn a living.
One thing that immediately stands out in your case is that there is no specific time period for which this restriction applies for. This will almost certainly make it unenforceable because an indefinite restriction will go way beyond what is reasonably required and expected. Had they defined this to apply for a limited period of time, say 3 or 6 months, it could have potentially be applicable but in this case it would be very difficult for them to successfully argue that it is a reasonable and enforceable restriction which they can apply.
That does not mean they won’t give it a go still, but you should maintain that it is an unreasonably and too wide a clause which is not enforceable due to the indefinite duration of the restricted period.
Does this answer your query?