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Employment contracts

#1 Employment contracts
29/08/2009 17:00


Hi all,

some help please - am sure someone has been in the same situation before.

I work for one of the main consultancies and my current client has asked me to continue past my orginal contract date as a contractor. I am keen, money is good and give me a lucrative way out of the company. However my contract states I am not allowed to work for any past clients for 10 months - do companies hold you to this or is it not really enforcable? Any advice or examples would be really appreciated.



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#2 RE: Employment contracts
29/08/2009 17:34

hardhat to Mike (#1)

Do companies hold you to this?

Some try to and others don't try to.

Is it really enforceable?

There is a recent post about this on here (a few weeks ago). If you are not moving, can we presume you can find some time to research it?

It is safe to say that not all contracts that state this, are fully enforceable.

An example:

Saatchi and Saatchi & Saatchi

Any consulting examples when it goes wrong?

Any examples about the non-legal implications of doing this (particularly when it goes wrong), that people want to outline on the forum?

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#3 RE: Employment contracts
08/09/2009 14:27

anon to Mike (#1)


are you a direct employee of the consultancy firm with a contract of employment with them? If you are this clause is called a 'restrictive covenant'. The test about whether it is enforcebale or not would only be known if they tried to take you to court. To a degree if it is a reasonable clause (which would be tested i court if it got that far) then its been put in the contract to protect your employer in terms of preventing employees leaving and taking billable with them through taking customers. If you did leave and took the job its a risk you are taking about har far yoru current employer would choose to go to enforce it, if its small value and not worth their time they may not bother. You may want to call acas who can give free advice on this

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#4 RE: Employment contracts
09/09/2009 09:57

Mr Cool to Mike (#1)


I have experience of this but need to know a few specifics to offer any meaningful advice.

1. Are you a perm employee of the consulting firm, or a contractor working through it?

2. What function do you perform (generally)

3. Is the end client asking you to continue in your current role/current project?

4. Is the consultancy a niche provider (e.g. only does operational risk/only builds datawarehouses, etc) or a big generalist firm (e.g. CapGemini - happy to do anything)

In general a contract is a contract, so the consultancy will have the right to hold you to what you have agreed to. Exclusivity/non-compete clauses are quite normal and many consultancies will be understandably protective of the efforts they have gone to to generate the original sale to the client. However these clauses cannot be too restrictive, otherwise they run the risk of being declared a restraint of trade.

Answers to the questions above would allow me to comment on the enforcablity of what has been agreed and also to suggest some practical compromises.

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