UK Employment Law
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Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How will your move to this new company impact your current employer?
It is common for employers to want to protect their business interests from unfair competition by current and ex-employees. This applies especially to employees who have knowledge of sensitive and valuable information, have considerable influence over the workforce or have strong customer connections. However, at the same time it is in the public interest to ensure that employees are free to move between employers and use their skills, knowledge and experience in a new setting.
Whilst employers try and impose certain restrictions on their employees, under the doctrine of restraint of trade, any contractual term which seeks to restrict an individual's freedom to work for others or carry out his trade or business is illegal and unenforceable. The exception is when the employer can show it has a legitimate business interest that requires protection.
Legitimate business interests (LBIs) are commonly accepted to include:
An employer cannot impose a restrictive covenant merely to stop someone competing, but it can seek to stop that person using or damaging something which legitimately belongs to it, such as an LBI.
So if you know sensitive company information such as pricing, products, strategy, etc which could affect the business then it is quite possible that a restrictive covenant could be seen as reasonable because it is there to protect an LBI. However, if you did not use any of that information then they may find it difficult to argue that you will in some way affect their business and cannot stop you working for a company, even if it is a competitor.
yes quite likely that being line staff may affect this as in general it is the level of knowledge and influence that you have that will be relevant. Unfortunately no one can predict whether they will take this further or not - each employer is individual and will perceive this differently, also will depend on how seriously they view this, whether they have the time and expenses to pursue this, etc
As this is an entirely separate query you would need to post it as a new question I am afraid, but I would be glad to help with it if necessary
the first question is solely to do with the restrictive covenants in your contract, the bonus is entirely separate to any restrictive covenants
The issues with providing prospects of success are that one needs to conduct a full case analysis first which is impossible to be done via a couple of paragraphs of information. As such if you require prospects of success you need to consult a solicitor in person who can examine all documents you have in your possession and also interview you to gain further information as necessary. As mentioned in our terms which you can see on this page:"You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains."
it would all depend on what information you have and how you use it, also it would depend on what evidence the company has that you have or are likely to infringe their LBIs. So it depends on quite a few factors and the presence or lack of each one can turn the outcome in one party's favour, hence why one particular outcome cannot be given based on this limited information
I would say they are more often pursued against senior employees with a great deal of influence over a business, rather than just 'normal' employees
My pleasure, hope this has clarified a bit more
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