Can You Enforce A Non-Compete Agreement Uk

It is very difficult for your employer to say that an oral agreement contains a restriction for whom you can work. These restrictions should be precise and specific, so it`s unlikely you`ll have to follow one that isn`t written. Similarly, a restrictive agreement that prevents a person from working in the same sector at a limited distance from your premises is more enforceable than an agreement that simply prohibits them from working in the same sector in the UK, especially if you do not have a national presence. Whereas, in some cases, illegal words or provisions may be “separated” from the rest of a restrictive covenant in order to create an enforceable restriction; Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Restrictive agreements and non-compete clauses (sometimes called restrictions after termination) are clauses contained in an employment contract or transaction agreement that prevent an outgoing employee from taking on key clients or employees of their former employer or from working for a competitor. An employer can only protect a legitimate business interest and restrictions must be narrowly defined to be proportionate. A frequent infringement is payment instead of termination (i.e. payment of notice without anyone working on it), in the absence of an explicit contractual right. In these circumstances, contractual restrictions are unlikely to be applied. The High Court/Trial Court held that the non-competition clause did not prohibit the applicant from holding shares in competing undertakings and therefore had no reason to consider the issue of severance pay. Id. at [16].

The Court of Appeal not only overturned the Court of Justice`s decision, but also rejected the company`s claim that it should simply “or be interested” in the non-competition clause and maintain the agreement under the remaining conditions. Id. at [17]. If the words that are used can be separated to make the clause enforceable, the words that remain in the contract are interpreted for their legal effect. In most cases, it is difficult for an employer to demonstrate that an agreement that would prevent you from working with a competitor for up to 12 months after your leave is appropriate. However, for four main reasons, employers should continue to carefully develop the conditions of non-competition in order to avoid disputes over whether they should be separated. The use of these labels usually means that they are more likely to be applied. They are recognized and defined categories of restrictions.

If restrictive agreements are not enforceable, they are as good as if they were not in the agreement at all. EZ initiated proceedings by claiming that Ms Tillman would breach her non-compete clause by her activities for a competitor. In 2017, after being promoted to joint head of Egon Zehnder`s financial services practice, the applicant separated from the company and announced her intention to accept a position with a competitor. Id. at [11]. The company sought an injunction to enforce the non-compete clause. Id. at [12]. The applicant argued that the non-competition clause went beyond the need for the undertaking to protect its legitimate ownership interests, since the words `or interested parties` would prevent it from holding even a minority stake in a competitor`s business.

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