An employment contract will often include a non-competition clause. This clause means that you will not be able to work for a company that competes with your employer’s company for a certain length of time after the employment contract has ended. The clause may include specific time frames and/or geographical limits.
Validity of non-competition clauses
Once you have signed an employment contract, the non-competition clause is generally valid – but not always. For various reasons this clause can be at least partly invalid.
If you have a temporary employment contract, then non-competition and client relations clauses are not permitted – unless the employer can explicitly explain, in writing and for each position, the need for such a clause due to urgent business or service interests. If such an explanation is lacking, the clause is null and void.
Do not violate your non-competition clause
No matter your situation, do not violate your non-competition or client relations clauses. Doing so will incur heavy penalties. Instead, try to negotiate these clauses upfront, or seek legal advice on your options.
Help with non-competition clauses
If you are unsure about whether your existing non-competition clause is valid, or if it is preventing you from accessing reasonable work opportunities, please contact us for advice.
GMW lawyers advises both employers and employees on non-competition clauses.