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Employment Contract

1953cup Avatar
5y, 7m agoPosted 5 years, 7 months ago
My contract states that I can not work within the same industry for myself or another firm for a certain amount of weeks.Can they hold you to it or is it a restraint of trade
1953cup Avatar
5y, 7m agoPosted 5 years, 7 months ago
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2 Likes #1
They can hold you to it if you accept the contract as it will protect their business and just as importantly prevent you from taking their customers with you.

http://www.roydens.co.uk/content09.htm

Edited By: simplyjimbo on May 04, 2011 11:35
#2
I had the same problem although I was allowed to work in the same industry. You can argue this breaches human rights however I would recommend speaking to the former employer and negotiating. Agree to them that you wont contact any former clients/candidates and you wont directly/indirectly solicit any business from them.

I have a 6mth restrictive convenant and to emphasise the point I had a a courier give me confirmation by their solicitor by hand to my new offices warning me off! Even though I was there for 5yrs and built up a 16m turnover. W*nkers ha.
#3
Its fairly standard in a lot of area's of business.
#4
Restrictions on taking another job (restrictive covenants)
46Some employees have a term in their contract of employment that restricts the type or place of employment they may go to when leaving a job. This is called a restrictive covenant. Restrictive covenants are common in jobs that depend on building good customer relations.47An employer may want to stop an employee taking her/his customers to another business and so will write into the contract of employment a term that says, for example, that an employee when leaving the job may not work in a similar business within a radius of ten miles.48Alternatively, an employer may want to stop an employee taking information s/he has learned in the job to another business. S/he may write into the contract of employment a term that says, for example, that the employee when leaving the job may not work in a similar business for five years.49If an employee takes a job, or sets up a business, that is in breach of a restrictive covenant the employer may apply to the courts for an injunction (interdict in Scotland) to force the employee to stop working in the new job or business. If the employer can prove that s/he has suffered a financial loss as a result, for example, s/he has lost customers, s/he may also be able to get damages.50The courts will only enforce a restrictive covenant by granting an injunction (interdict, in Scotland) if they believe that it is reasonable and in the public interest. There is no precise definition of these terms. A court will look at the circumstances of each case when deciding whether or not the covenant is reasonable and in the public interest.51Because of the lack of definition, it is difficult to give general guidance. A covenant that says a hairdresser can never again work as a hairdresser in the UK would be unreasonable. One that says an ex-employee cannot work in the hairdressers down the road for six months would probably be reasonable provided the employer could satisfy the court that the employee could damage the employer's business by taking existing customers away. Because of the cost of taking action in the courts to enforce an injunction, employers will often threaten, but not pursue, an employee. This is an uncertain area and clients should usually be referred to a solicitor.52If an employer has wrongfully dismissed an employee (that is, has dismissed the employee without proper notice) or the employee has been constructively dismissed, s/he cannot enforce a restrictive covenant. This is because s/he has broken the contract of employment.

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