Restrictive Covenants

Need a better understanding of the legal validity of the Confidentiality Clauses and Non-Compete Clauses in your contract? 

Employment contracts often contain Clauses or Restrictions (Post-Termination Restrictive Covenants) which last beyond the period of employment. 

These restrictions are often imposed on employees who could cause damage to their employers’ legitimate business interests if they acted in breach. However, many restrictions in employment contracts appear more to seek to restrict an employee from earning a living going forward.

Examples of Restrictive Covenants can include;

  • Confidentiality Clause - If information obtained during the course of employment is used or shared, the company can take legal action against the employee.
  • Non-Compete Clauses - Clauses which can include aspects to try to prevent the employee from moving to a competitor or starting a business in direct competition with the employer. 

Employers can, and have in some occasions, made the scope of these Restrictive Covenants wider than can be enforced in law, so if you are planning to leave your employer and believe you have restrictions, it may be in your best interests to have these reviewed by a solicitor before leaving. This is with the aiming of negotiating either a waiver or reduction in the restrictions.  

Either defending or suing as a result of an alleged breach of post termination restrictions is a costly business and appeal level case law is pendulum like in swinging from protecting employer’s interests to protecting the rights of employees to go out and earn a living.  We have successfully negotiated waivers and reductions in restrictions in employee’s contracts either by reducing the geographical spread or length of time of the restrictions.

If you have restrictions and are wanting to go and work for a competitor, speak to us to see how we may be able to help. To find out more about our services contact Susan Mayall, or Victoria Schofield on 0161 785 3500 and make an enquiry today.