Employers often look to include provisions in a contract of employment restricting an employees activities when their employment has ended. These restrictions are meant to protect the employer’s business.
They fall into four main groups:
- – non-compete restrictions – which prevent an employee from competing with his or her former employer usually within a specific geographical area for a set time following the end of his employment
- – non-solicitation/non-dealing restrictions – which prevent an employee approaching customers of the business for a set time following termination.;
- – non-poaching – which prevent an employee from recruiting employees of the employer for a set time following termination;
- – restrictions on the use of confidential information – which prevent an employee from using confidential information which he or she has acquired during employment.
The restrictions imposed must be reasonable, be designed only to protect the employers legitimate business interests and extend no further than is reasonably necessary to protect those interests. If they go beyond this they will be struck down as an unfair restraint of trade.
Before you leave your job, Rees Page can advise you on how any covenants in your contract might affect you if you do. After you leave your job, we can help if you are being threatened with action by a former employer.