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Can a company stop me working for another company

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by TechTock, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. TechTock

    TechTock Byte Poster

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    I was made redundant from my job (streamlining so no issue with me). I'm a 2nd/3rd line professional and have been offered to be put forward for a job for a company I did contracting for before I worked for the company I got the bullet from. Whilst working there we started to do work for the company I used to contract for (though I had no contact with them).

    Issue is when I signed my redundancy letter it said I can't work for any company they had dealings with for 6 months. Can they enforce this and potentially sue me. Again the redundancy was just one of those things that happened and I have no bad feelings towards the company I lost my job with. Slightly worried as it's a great opportunity and hampers my ability to get a full time job.
     
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  2. RichyV

    RichyV Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Potentially, yes they can. But they'd have to provide some proof that, in taking the new job, you'd be engaged in something that inherently endangers their income (such as poaching clients or stealing secrets).

    You would certainly want to mention it to the prospective new employer though, as they'd need to know for legal reasons.
     
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  3. Makaveli

    Makaveli Byte Poster

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    Why would you sign something with that type of clause in it? It was their choice to make you redundant so you should not be bound by any clauses that impact your ability to get a job with another employer.
     
  4. TechTock

    TechTock Byte Poster

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    It was either that or end up leaving with virtually no payoff.
     
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  5. Makaveli

    Makaveli Byte Poster

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    Did you not have any Union representation?
     
  6. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    No, they can't.
    I've seen this happen quite a lot.
    We took it to court a couple of times and it was considered to be denying you your right to reasonable employment/income.
    They can't tell you that you aren't allowed to work in a suitable industry, and if the new employer is an old client which gives you a foot in the door then all the better.
     
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  7. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    Competitor clauses are common in many types of industry. I'm pretty sure it's part of my own contract of employment. I wouldn't say this was an outrageous clause; more a commonplace safeguard.
     
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  8. TechTock

    TechTock Byte Poster

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    Cheers for the replies much appreciated. I slightly misread the points in the termination letter. The restriction is actually part of my contract and the wording is slightly hard to interpret. I got my wife to read it and all is ok. Newcastle is such a small place in terms of IT and that could of caused me issues so thank god it's not as I thought. Sorry for not reading it correctly and the post.
     
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  9. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Plenty of legal gurus on this post :)

    Each case is different and depends on the wording of your contract and the conditions to how you left your current job.

    If they did stop you taking the job then you have a case against them for loss of earnings. So technically your previous employer pays you to sit at home – always great when it works out that way!
     
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  10. TechTock

    TechTock Byte Poster

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    Reading my contract when I joined the terms in it are totally unreasonable. It says you can't setup a business in the same line of work as the company for 6 months. You can't work for the competition for 6 months. Considering that the company is in a technology field of business I suspect most people who left will be doing one of the two. I suppose as stated I can't see how they could enforce it.
     
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  11. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

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    My contract with my previous employer had a similar clause except the time scale was 12 months rather than 6. They knew I left to work for the competition and haven't made any attempt to enforce the post employment clause in the year since I left.

    Bit disappointed really, was kind of hoping I could take them on as the clause was so restrictive in that I wasn't meant to work in the same industry for 12 months unless I moved 120 miles. I think most employers include something similar these days but I've only ever seen anyone try to enforce them when the ex-employee has immediately started trying to poach clients once they start their new role.
     
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  12. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    I think poaching clients is the main reason these clauses are inserted. If you don't step on their toes, they won't be bothered.
     
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