One area of law that Tindall Gask Bentley is often engaged in is the drafting or enforcement of post-employment restraints.
These restraints are legal provisions that govern the actions of employees after their employment with a company has ended. They are intended to protect the interests of employers, and deal with such things as confidential information, trade secrets and client relationships. It can be quite complex to get the balance right between employer and employee rights when considering and drafting these restraints, while also safeguarding the employer’s business.
Types of Restraints
There are several types of post-employment restraints commonly used in employment contracts:
- Non-compete clauses. These prevent employees from working for competing businesses or starting their own business in direct competition with the previous employer, for a specified period after leaving their current employer.
- Non-solicitation clauses. These restrict employees from soliciting clients or colleagues from their former workplace for a certain period of time.
- Non-disclosure clauses. These prohibit the disclosure of confidential information or trade secrets obtained during employment.
Enforcement of restraints
This is where it is critical for employers to obtain solid legal advice in the drafting of their employment contracts. The enforceability of post-employment restraints depends on a number of factors including their duration, geographic scope, and their ‘reasonableness’. If it comes to that, a Court will often make decisions based on these factors. What constitutes ‘reasonableness’ can vary dependent on the circumstances.
It is important to note that certain industries such as the legal and medical professions, have industry-specific regulations that govern their post-employment restraints.
At TGB Lawyers, we frequently advise employers on the construction of post-employment restraints in their employment contracts, to ensure that they are legally enforceable.