Business Employment Law

Post termination employee restrictions

It’s natural to want to impose restrictive covenants to prevent former employees from accessing your clients and customers, key staff, or appropriating confidential information and intellectual property.

However, while you are entitled to protect your business interests, post-termination contract clauses are often deemed to be anti-competitive and may therefore be unenforceable. So, getting the right clauses in your employment contracts that you can rely on, is important. Our expert team of employment solicitors can support your business with post termination restrictive covenants. We can help you draft effective contract clauses, review existing contract clauses, instigate action against former employees and defend action threatened by a former employer.

The employment lawyers at Morr & Co Solicitors will provide you with effective contract clauses that prevent your employees and ex-employees from soliciting or dealing with your clients, misusing your confidential information, ‘poaching’ your skilled employees and, in certain situations, preventing them from competing with you. We can advise on whether existing restrictive covenants are likely to be enforceable and whether you need to change existing terms of employment.

If you are faced with an employee or ex-employee poaching your clients or misusing your confidential information to divert your business, you need to act promptly. We will work with you to stop or limit damage to your business, including, where appropriate, instigating court proceedings through our Dispute Resolution Team. We can also assist if you (or an employee of your business) are threatened with legal proceedings by a previous employer.

Please contact one of the team for more information or to discuss your requirements.


What are post termination restrictions?

Post termination restrictions (also know as restrictive covenants) are clauses normally found in contracts of employment or settlement agreements and are designed to prevent an departing employee from taking confidential information, clients, or employees from their former employer, or from working for a competitor.

Is a 12 month restrictive covenant enforceable?

Generally speaking, clauses contained within a contract of employment which attempt to restrict an individual’s right to compete are unenforceable because they are viewed as unlawful restraints of trade. An employer may, however, enforce a post termination restriction which is drafted in a manner that is designed to go no further than reasonably necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests. Therefore, in some cases, a 12 month restriction could be enforceable, but it is important to be aware that the longer then restriction the harder it is to justify. Every case is different and if you are concerned about a restriction and it’s enforceability then we recommend taking advise at the earliest opportunity.

Mel McCrum

Mel McCrum

Partner, Head of Department