It is quite common for employees to request a reference from their former employers as part of their departure or otherwise some time after they have left. Giving references should be an easy task, but unfortunately there are pitfalls for the unwary. Recent cases have confirmed that employers (and individual managers authorised to give references) owe a duty of care to employees; and if that duty is breached then this may entitle an adversely affected employee to claim for damages it suffers.
An employee gains important skills and knowledge whilst working. They also learn useful confidential and commercially sensitive information. When they leave they should not take that information with them. Employers naturally want to protect certain business interests both during and after employment. We deal with these issues. We draft appropriate restrictions for inclusion in contracts as well as standalone agreements.
Restrictive Covenants are express terms incorporated into an employment contract to restrain an employee’s activity both during and after their employment. This includes non-solicitation of customers and potential customers, non-dealing and non-competition covenants.
In relation to protecting business interests after the relationship has ended, contractual provisions will only be enforceable if reasonable. We draft enforceable restraint of trade provisions and advise you on the steps available to you in the event that these provisions are breached.
There is an implied duty of confidentiality both during and after the employment relationship. We help you to determine if information is confidential and when necessary help you to enforce such obligations. However, protection is better than cure (and cheaper!), so we always recommend seeking early advice.
Competition can be an issue both during and after the employment relationship. Usually contained in the contract, they cover a range of activities which an employee may be prevented from undertaking both in terms of type and geographical location. We understand how to draft and review non-compete clauses for employment contracts to ensure that they are enforceable. We advise employers on the available options when breaches do occur, which may include seeking injunctions to prevent further damage or seeking to recover damages when a business has suffered financially. We help employees understand the implications and consequences of agreeing to non-compete provisions and also help them to consider if they are reasonable and enforceable.
Any questions? Contact me