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If you wish to challenge clauses placed in your contract of employment by an employer, our solicitors are here to help. We have years of experience advising and representing people who are in dispute with their current or former employer and have an excellent track record of finding a resolution that works for everyone involved.
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Restrictive covenants are clauses in a contract of employment that typically aim to stop employees having a negative effect on the company they have left. However, the enforceability of these clauses is sometimes called into question by employees who feel the restrictions in their contract are actually unenforceable.
The different kinds of restrictive covenants include:
- Non-poaching covenants - stopping employees poaching old colleagues
- Non-solicitation covenants - stopping employees poaching clients or customers of the old company
- Non-competition covenants - stopping employees going on to work in a similar role for a competitor
- Non-dealing covenants - stopping employees dealing, in any form, with clients and customers once they have left the company
These clauses can be enforced if they are seen to be reasonable, justified, are aimed at protecting the employer’s business interests and are not too broad. However, sometimes they can be challenged, and this is where we come in. We can help employees contest the clauses and have them diluted or even invalidated.
If your employer is enforcing restrictive covenants against you, the first step will be to obtain an injunction preventing you from working for a competitor or requiring you to hand back any confidential documents. If this fails, they are entitled to seek compensation from you for breaching the restrictive covenants.
The courts will decide whether damages will be paid out by checking to see if the restrictive covenant is enforceable. They will then decide whether you breached the covenant and, if so, decide if it caused any financial loss to your employer. If so, a compensation amount will be decided upon.
If you are facing enforcement over restrictive covenants, it is important that you seek legal advice immediately because the consequences can be severe.