Frequently Asked Employment Questions

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Document updated/added on 30.09.2019

Topic: Contracts

What do we need to consider when drafting post-employment restrictions?

Start by considering exactly what it is that needs to be protected, e.g. customer lists or marketing strategies. Next, think about which employees have access to this material. It's only relevant staff that should be subject to post-employment restrictions, such as the non-solicitation of customers or non-dealing with customers in respect of whom they had personal dealings during the final stages of their employment.  Depending on the nature of your business (or the sector within which you operate) you may also wish to introduce a geographical ban on companies that an employee can't work for within a certain period following their departure (non-competition). Finally, consider how long a ban on working for a competitor genuinely needs to be: normally this shouldn't be any longer than six months. Tip. Ensure the terms of restrictive covenants don't go any further than is necessary to protect your legitimate business interests. If a clause or sub-clause is drafted too widely, a court will generally strike it out – they won't amend the wording, or add new wording, to reflect what restrictions would be reasonable (although they do have the power to sever any offending words using the so-called "blue pencil test"). It is far safer to have a specialist lawyer look over any proposed clause.