Depending on the role and position you performed within an organisation, when you leave you may be subject to restrictive covenants, also known as post-termination restrictions. These will have been detailed in your contract of employment.
The most common types of restrictions are:
- Confidentiality – this makes it unlawful to divulge sensitive information about your employer or its clients
- Non-solicitation – this means you cannot approach your employer’s existing clients, and perhaps staff, for an agreed period of time
- Non-dealing – this prevents you from doing business with your employer’s existing clients after you leave, usually for an agreed period of time
- Non-compete – this means you will be unable to work for a competitor
When accepting a new position you do not have to agree to post-termination restrictions, however they are a common feature of many contracts and you could find the role is dependent on your agreement. Similarly, if your existing employer asks you to enter into post-termination restrictions you are not obliged to do so. However, you should consider the ramifications of declining.
At the time of leaving employment, it can sometimes be possible to negotiate with your employer to amend or reduce your restrictions. This would be very dependent on the role you are undertaking and the role you intend to pursue after your departure. Some restrictions could also be considered unreasonable and therefore they can be unenforceable.
It is essential that you receive professional legal advice to ensure you are not affected by unreasonable restrictions, or put yourself at risk by breaking covenants that are already in place. Speak to our employment team today by calling 01752 203500, emailing enquiries@GAsolicitors.com, or using our contact form to get in touch.