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Confidentiality and Restrictive Covenant Clauses

When an employee or worker remains in employment with your business, you can rely on the contract of employment to control their actions and protect the business. What about when the employee leaves, especially if this is to a competitor?

If an employee leaves and moves on to a competitor there is always going to be a risk to your business – particularly if that employee had access to trade secrets, customer lists or supplier lists. If they were to use this information in a new job this could undermine your business and severely impact your future trading and stability.

It is important to consider this scenario even from the outset of the employment and build protection into your contracts of employment. It is common to include confidentiality clauses that continue to apply after the employment relationship ends in respect of information that employee becomes aware of during their employment and about trade secrets.

Also, post termination restrictive covenants are very useful. These clauses can be used to prevent an employee, after their employment ends, for a duration of time (usually no more than 12 months) and in a geographic location (potentially nationwide if you operate nationally), from:

  • Poaching staff
  • Enticing or soliciting clients away from your business
  • Working in competition with your business
  • We can assist you with preparing contracts of employment with the necessary protection. We can also assist you if you need to enforce confidentiality or restrictive covenant clauses – this can be done by way of a pre-action letter and if not successful a County Court claim to seek either an injunction or damages.

Free employment law clinic for businesses

Every Monday we run an ‘online employment law clinic’ for small businesses in South Yorkshire. If you have a question regarding employment law within your business email [email protected] on a Monday between 9am – 4pm and one of our employment experts will respond to you on the same day.

The Employment for Businesses team

Our Employment team, is renowned for its no-nonsense, energetic and pragmatic approach. Its success isn’t just down to its extensive knowledge of the law, it’s also the way we pride ourselves on putting our client first, getting to know you and understanding what you want to achieve. To get the best results for you and achieve commercially sensible outcomes it is essential that we understand your business.

The team is highly regarded, with recommendations from many clients. The professional guide, Legal 500, also ranks Howells employment team highly in Sheffield and South Yorkshire;

Legal 500 2018

"The 'friendly and approachable' employment team at Howells is known primarily for its representation of employees in tribunal claims. Clare Fowler and Tom Bernard jointly head the team, which is supported by head of civil litigation Graham Hogarth. Fowler has particular experience delivering discrimination advice, while Bernard is recommended for his 'balanced advice, thorough and clear communication' in relation to claims. The team has recently handled disability discrimination claims, in addition to unfair dismissal claims under TUPE. The practice also has experience acting for SMEs, including advising one employer on a complex redundancy matter."

Tom Bernard
Senior Solicitor
0114 249 6640
Solicitor Clare Fowler
Clare Fowler
Head of Employment & Discrimination
0114 249 6644
Patrick Macken
0114 249 6669