UK Employment Law
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I have a restrictive covenant in my contract but the wording is very vague, can you please provide me with advice on whether my employer has the right to enforce it? I work for an IT consultancy, I am working as a Junior project manager (although my title with my employer is project coordinator, so at a junior level so I am not in a senior position), currently working for one of their clients and have been there for almost 5 years. The client has appraoched me with a position building on my experience within the client. The client is an international investment bank, and until recently the project that I have worked for is funded by the UK side of the bank. The new position is funded by India division - the advice i need is India have approached me to take up this position with them through an alternative contracting agency, as the employer I currently work for is not a supplier on their list of suppliers used (unlike in the UK). As my employer is not an option to provide this service to the bank, am I in breach of contract if I take up the offer via an alternative agency? I have contacted my employer to discuss this, I am still waiting for a meeting with my manager to discuss this matter with them. The details of the restriction are as follows: 1. Restrictive Covenants 1.1. You shall not for a period of six months after the day your employment terminates (Termination Date) either directly or indirectly and whether on your own behalf or on behalf of any other business, person, partnership, firm, company or other body which is wholly or partly in competition with any business carried on by the Company or any Group Company and whether directly or indirectly: 1.1.1. canvass, solicit or attempt to entice away from the Company or any Group Company the business of any person, partnership, firm, company or other body for whom the Company or any Group Company has provided goods or services who or which to your knowledge is and has been a customer, client or agent or supplier to the Company or any Group Company during the period of 12 months immediately preceding the Termination Date and with whom you had direct business dealings or personal contact on behalf of the Company or any Group Company during that period; or 1.1.2. canvass, solicit or attempt to entice away from the Company or any Group Company the business of any person, firm, company or organisation with whom the Company or any Group Company has had any negotiations or material discussions with a view to doing business with the Company or any Group Company for the supply of goods or services by the Company or any Group Company during the period of 12 months immediately preceding the Termination Date and with whom you had direct business dealings or personal contact on behalf of the Company or any Group Company during that period; or 1.1.3. undertake to provide in competition with the Company or any Group Company any service or manufacture or supply any product similar to those with which you were concerned in the course of your employment during the period of 12 months immediately preceding the Termination Date to or for any person who is or was a customer, client or agent of or supplier to (or who had regular business dealings with) the Company or any Group Company during the period of 12 months immediately preceding the Termination Date and with whom you had direct dealings or personal contact in the course of your employment during that period; or 1.1.4. be engaged by any client of the Company or any Group Company to whom you have provided services on behalf of the Company or any Group Company during the period of 12 months immediately preceding the Termination Date; or 1.1.5. solicit or entice away any person who: 220.127.116.11. is a Key Person unless such person had ceased to be employed or engaged by the Company or any Group Company more than 3 months prior to the Termination Date (whether or not such person would thereby breach his or her employment or appointment terms). “Key Person” means any person who is or was at any time during the 12 month period immediately preceding the Termination Date a senior employee or director of the Company or any Group Company or who is or was engaged by the Company or any Group Company as a consultant in an equivalent capacity; or 18.104.22.168. by reason of their knowledge of trade secrets or confidential information of the Company or any Group Company or knowledge or influence over the clients, customers or suppliers of the Company or any Group Company is likely to be able to assist or benefit a business which competes or proposes to compete with the Company or any Group Company; 22.214.171.124. and in either case with whom you had personal dealings in the course of your employment within the period of 12 months immediately preceding the Termination Date.
I have a few more paragraphs covering this in my contract, which I can also send as I could not upload the file
Hello,I would first start by advising you that only the courts can authoritatively rule on whether or not the restrictive covenants are indeed illegal and unenforceable or not.However, in my opinion, you would not be bound by the clauses which you have set out as such clauses are generally void and unenforceable as being anti competitive and in restraint of trade.Your employer would need to justify to the courts that it is a reasonable covenant and to protect a legitimate business interest e.g. client connections, confidential information, maintaining a stable workforce – and not simply to stifle or prevent competition. I suggest you read this for further information: http://www.employmentlaw.co.uk/restrictive_covenants_what_is_enforceable.aspAll the best. Please leave feedback
Hi, thank you for you response.
This is the remainder of the details in the contract if you need to check:
In your opinion I would not be bound by the clause.
Would you suggest it would still be best for me to speak to my employer prior to making my decision?
If so - I would like to mention that I have had some advice and I am not bound by the clause.
Other than the employer having to justify that the convenant is reasonable to enforce, are there any other parts of the clause that i can use to justify/reinforce my decision?
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