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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 14196
Experience:  37 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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I have signed a contract yesterday morning but got a better

Customer Question

Hi,
I have signed a contract yesterday morning but got a better offer from another company so I rang to withdraw from my contract (which would have me starting to work on 1st of June). Now in the contract it states under post employment that I have a stand down period of 3 months but I have not been exposed to any information yet as I haven't started. The HR manager said I can not back out of my contract. Is that correct? what can I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.
You can back out because they cannot stop you working like that. If they triued to stop you, they would not succeed
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.
It is contrary to public policy to have a restraint of trade in an employment contract. In this situation however, the HR manager is likely to be just sounding off because you have changed your mind. But in fact you have not started the employment, so there cannot be a three-month stand down period
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So I can change my mind with no problem? or do I have to resign from the contract? Or do I send an email stating that I have changed my mind?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.
You should tell them that you have changed your mind, and email would be fine.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I might have to add this is a senior management role
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.
It is a well established principle in employment law that a clause in a contract which has a restraint of trade is difficult to enforce. But in this case you have not even started, so it would be difficult for them to stop you working for someone else

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