Are Restrictive Covenants in Employment Contracts enforceable?

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Home » Are Restrictive Covenants in Employment Contracts enforceable?

We occasionally get candidates nervous about applying for jobs if there is a non-competition restrictive covenant clause in their Contract of Employment.

In all my years in recruitment, I have NEVER come across anyone ever being taken to court under these circumstances.

The reason these clauses are rarely enforceable is that they are seen as a “restraint of trade”, as such the law often will regard the clause as void. The employer bears the burden of proof to show why the breach of any restrictive covenants will have a detrimental impact on the future of the business – something that is incredibly difficult to prove and extremely costly if it were ever to get to court.

A general rule of thumb is that a court is more likely to restrict the actions of those in more senior roles. Particularly those who could be in a position to influence clients over the placement of high value contracts, than restricting more junior employees with much less influence.

Therefore, as recruiters, it is obvious that a candidate who has worked, for one energy broker, is going to be looking at jobs working for other energy brokers.

It makes no sense at all to feel pressurised into looking outside the energy sector for work, when your value is in the skills and knowledge you have gained in this industry.

If you are worried about a restrictive covenant in your employment contract, give us a call to talk it through.


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