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Old 29 January 2013, 23:38   #1
Boro
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Default Can't work for a competitor for 6 months?

I resigned on Friday and in my exit letter, there was a paragraph which said, as per my contract, I'm not allowed to work for a competitor for 6 months.

I'm on gardening leave for a month but surely after that I'm not bound by the contract any more?

What happens if the only job you can do, is the one you do, like a plumber, or telephone engineer, what else could you do, other than work for a competitor!

Any one had this stipulation when they left a job?
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Old 29 January 2013, 23:43   #2
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I think pre-nups and non-compete contracts are useless in Uk law.
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Old 29 January 2013, 23:45   #3
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ive heard the term "gardening leave" many times -what does that actually mean if you dont mind me asking?
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Old 29 January 2013, 23:45   #4
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I've had similar paragraphs in contracts but have been lucky in that I've moved into roles in different inducstries.

Some interesting thoughts here:
http://www.ukbusinessforums.co.uk/fo...p/t-16327.html

Jef - Gardening leave usually refers to you serving your notice but spending the time at home and not actually working as your outgoing employer doesn't/ can't/ won't assign you any more work. Best to get it when the weather is good!
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Old 29 January 2013, 23:48   #5
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Maybe worth reading your next contract
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Old 29 January 2013, 23:50   #6
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Wor lass works for defra or something similar ( I don't know as when she starts talking I stop listening ) but she used to calculate the cash that farmers were given for making habitat for wildlife rather than planting full crops etc, anyway she could have made more money by leaving and setting up for herself sorting the farmers claims out etc so her company put a clause in contract stopping her going it alone for 12 months iirc.

Mick
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Old 29 January 2013, 23:50   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJ_Skyline View Post
I've had similar paragraphs in contracts but have been lucky in that I've moved into roles in different inducstries.

Some interesting thoughts here:
http://www.ukbusinessforums.co.uk/fo...p/t-16327.html

Jef - Gardening leave usually refers to you serving your notice but spending the time at home and not actually working as your outgoing employer doesn't/ can't/ won't assign you any more work. Best to get it when the weather is good!
i see, thanks
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Old 30 January 2013, 00:24   #8
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Boro,

Had this when I left my last job after being hunted by a (and probably only serious) competitor. Left on the Friday, started new job on the Monday.

Old company tried to take me to court for breach of contract. Courts chucked it immediately as I was no longer under their contract. They appealed, it was chucked again.

Two fingers I say.

Bottom line, you are only under contract while being paid by said company and that includes all benefits. Once that ceases, so does anything in the contract, including any new stuff they added in the months before you left.

If you need any more help, PM me.

Cheers

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Old 30 January 2013, 00:33   #9
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Yes
I can confirm not working for your competitor clauses is not with the ink on the paper
The judges will not stop a man working
Otherwise he claims Benefits off the state which is no good for the country

Oldest trick in the book
Stick the contract where te sun doesn't shine on them
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Old 30 January 2013, 06:21   #10
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Echo the sentiments above, i had a company try this on me 20yrs ago, and the general consensus of opinion was that you can't stop a man from plying his trade, not that i really needed anyone to tell me that as i figured it was horse poo by myself anyway, the boss was a control freak and ended up loosing his house and business persuing three ex employees that set up on there own.

Could not have happened to a nicer person.
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Old 30 January 2013, 06:31   #11
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i work for a trade union, everytime ive seen a clause like this it only applies if you're on gardening leave as your still being paid by your previous employer, so still under contract.

once you have left there employment, your contract has ended hence you can do as you wish.
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Old 30 January 2013, 08:08   #12
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It's generally not enforceable - only exception is something like a hairdresser where they have the caviet in about setting up shop within X miles from place of employment. Even then they are on a wing & a prayer
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Old 30 January 2013, 08:53   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boro View Post
I resigned on Friday and in my exit letter, there was a paragraph which said, as per my contract, I'm not allowed to work for a competitor for 6 months.
As said, don't worry about it.

Chances are the company won't pursue this anyway.
We have it in all our contracts and have never followed a case up
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Old 30 January 2013, 08:59   #14
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Its in the contract but not worth the ink used to put it thier. Companies hope u follow it thats all
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Old 30 January 2013, 11:29   #15
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LOL, you resigned, so their contract is null and void!
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Old 30 January 2013, 12:35   #16
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Yep, echo the above, don't worry about it. If it's the only thing you can do to earn money then its against your rights to stop you from earning, afaik.

I get it all the time in sales, usually just giving it a month (your garden leave time) everything is ok after that.
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Old 30 January 2013, 12:37   #17
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Old 30 January 2013, 12:39   #18
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how come your on gardening leave after resigning? most places make you work your notice period unless you are made redundant?
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Old 30 January 2013, 12:55   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tidgy View Post
how come your on gardening leave after resigning? most places make you work your notice period unless you are made redundant?
Lots don't. Entirely depends on your job & the company. There are plenty of places out there that insist that you don't work your notice. For all sort of reasons. You won't be as productive, you might disrupt other staff, you might demotivate other staff, you might gain product knowledge that you can pass on, you are a libility to them in terms of insurances etc. You are an overhead in terms of facilties (they can give your work equipement to someone else rather than pay for more etc).
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Old 30 January 2013, 12:57   #20
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fair point.
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Old 30 January 2013, 14:31   #21
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In banking you'd have to have deep pockets to fight a six month gardening leave clause in the courts. And it would damage your reputation if you went that route. Most people i know who've been subjected to it use the time to reduce their golf handicap.
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Old 30 January 2013, 14:59   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tidgy View Post
how come your on gardening leave after resigning? most places make you work your notice period unless you are made redundant?
The company I used to work for would remove your PC off your desk and cancel all your passwords etc there and then. They would take your company car keys etc then call you a taxi... pretty much slam the door behind you as you walked out. Grumpy fsckers

You would then go on GL for 4 - 12 weeks depending on your contract. Mine was 4 weeks, and it was in the middle of a really good hot summer. BBQ every day etc. Ahhh the good old days!!
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Old 30 January 2013, 16:10   #23
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Yeah same for me had 6 weeks of gardens polishing cars and DIY to the
Magic cheque came the started new job 2 days later
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Old 30 January 2013, 18:04   #24
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one of my employers did the same thing when i was going to start up on my own, he knew i would take a lot of his business so started to panic!
i read up on restrictive covenants and the best site i found was a solicitors website called www.lindermyers.co.uk
they can't stop you using what you know to earn a living as it then becomes restriction of trade.
gardening leave means you are still employed by them but they don't want you on site for the reasons somebody above has already given but if they need you they can still call you back in to sort out the issue as you are still technically under contract
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Old 30 January 2013, 18:21   #25
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I had a non compete in my last corporate role, made them pay me for the duration, no arguments from them.
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Old 30 January 2013, 18:35   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackClark View Post
I had a non compete in my last corporate role, made them pay me for the duration, no arguments from them.
Corporate role?
I always assumed you worked in the Apple shop flannelling the window lickers.
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Old 30 January 2013, 18:37   #27
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Corporate role?
I always assumed you worked in the Apple shop flannelling the window lickers.
Nope, this was McAfee.
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Old 30 January 2013, 18:39   #28
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Non compete is unenforceable as you just counter sue for denial of the right to earn a living. But be careful of confidentiality.

Last edited by terzoscooby; 30 January 2013 at 19:43.
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Old 30 January 2013, 19:09   #29
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if and only if you are a salesman in a certain trade, they may be able to stop you contacting your existing customer base for 6months, that doesn't stop a office person making your cold calls/appointments on the phone for you
the company i work for has tryed this loads of times and its the only thing they can do
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Old 30 January 2013, 20:11   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TelBoy View Post
In banking you'd have to have deep pockets to fight a six month gardening leave clause in the courts. And it would damage your reputation if you went that route. Most people i know who've been subjected to it use the time to reduce their golf handicap.
but presumably in the scenario above

the person is getting paid throughout the 6 months gardening leave

a company enforcing that restrictive clause seems reasonable to me

the real issue is whether it is enforcable once the employee is a free agen (ex-employee)

DD's posted link seems to suggest it is, IF the clause is narrow in scope and tightly worded

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Old 30 January 2013, 20:11
 
 
 
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