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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Can a company stop an employee after signing a document not

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Can a company stop an employee after signing a document not to walk dogs after they left from starting up on there own. Is it an enforceable document.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Is there anything in the contract that would prevent the employee from doing this?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
As l said the employee signed to say they would not walk dogs for 12 months after leaving can this be up held

How long had they worked there for?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Can you just give me.your opinion on what l have asked
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
About 12 months
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I don’t want to pay any more

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. Such restrictions can certainly be upheld but the clause needs to be reasonable for it to be enforceable.

It is a rather common occurrence for employment contracts to contain post-termination restrictive covenants. An employer would understandably 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.

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.

Non-competition covenants prevent an employee from working with a competing business or setting up to work in competition with their ex-employer. A covenant simply wishing to prevent competition will not be enforceable. Such covenants will generally only be reasonable if in the process of working in competition, the employee uses trade secrets or sensitive confidential information belonging to their ex-employer, or their influence over clients is so great that such a restriction is necessary. If these covenants include a geographical area, their enforceability will also depend on the area they are trying to cover, such as density and population and what is considered reasonable in the circumstances.

So yes, it is possible to enforce such restrictions but the restriction has to be reasonable, have a defined area or customer base which is protected, which is not too wide and only be there to protect legitimate interests of the business, such as to avoid any direct influence you have over their clients.

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