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Print Restraints of Trade

Restraints of Trade
Date Added: 02/09/2008
Posted by:

Alison Williamson

Viewed: 2878 times

Restraints of Trade clauses are common in many professional contracts - accountants, solicitors (my husband is one) etc.
They are more common in Contracts of Service (employed people) rather than Contract for Services (self-employed) and they can be quite difficult to enforce. They must be shown to be reasonable in both disctance and time.
Obviously an employer may like to say you cannot work/trade within 100 miles for 10 years (hypothetically) and this would never be upheld by the Court as reasonable who would throw it out. Evidently the Courts do not substitute something reasonable in its place.

A restraint of trade or restrictive covenant clause in the contract of employment; these seek to restrict what an employee may do once they leave employment with their current employer. For such clauses to be enforceable the employer must be able to show that:

1. The protection they seek is reasonable; and
2. It is no more than is necessary to protect their business.

The term 'reasonableness' is assessed by tribunals against a number of criteria that include:

* Length of the restraining clause
* Geographical spread of exclusion, e.g. within 3 miles of the place of work or throughout the UK
* The kinds of activity which are prevented, e.g. setting up a new office, working for a competitor, poaching staff
* The position and status of the employee
* The nature of the employment

Hope some of this helps. I cannot see that this would necessarily be applicable to a hygienist as we cannot see patients direct and the only was a hygienist moving practices could take patients would be either through referral from the original dentist or by the patinets changing practices altogether.

Alison Williamson

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