New year, new job. It is at this time of year when new
year's resolutions and grand plans are on everyone's minds,
and many people begin to think about looking for a "new
Fantastic. After all, a change is as good as a holiday. But what
about your obligations to your current employer? And, as the
employer, how far can you go in trying to enforce your
company's restrictive covenants against an employee who wishes
The following are a few points to consider, regardless of
whether you're trying to leave your employment or you're
trying to enforce covenants that your employee happily agreed to
when they first began employment.
Is there anything worth protecting?
Confidential information and client contacts are the two key
factors every company wants to protect; and every employee wants to
take with them. So how does either party get what they want?
The company will need to demonstrate that both the clients, and
the information that the employee wishes to take with them, were
created by the employee while employed by the company, for the
company. The employee, on the other hand, needs to show that the
information that he has taken with him was known to him prior to
joining the company or was in the public domain.
But how does this specifically relate to client contacts in
relation to social networking sites such as Linkedin? Does an
employee have to go so far as to' unlink' with someone
because they have changed their employer? How practical is it for
the employer to enforce the restrictive covenants?
Being small islands with small employment markets covering a
variety of niche areas, restricting individuals' employment
mobility is not looked upon favourably in the Channel Islands. The
overriding test is reasonableness. Regardless of there being a
large client base to protect, if an individual is, for example, an
accountant, his employment cannot be restricted reasonably beyond
In some cases, and depending on seniority, this may be limited
to as short a time as three months. This is regardless of what has
been drafted in the employee's employment contract. Why? Again,
it is what is reasonable. An individual should not and cannot be
penalised by virtue of their chosen occupation. But how does this
In these scenarios, how we draft our employment agreements now
can have a knock-on effect and far reaching consequences down the
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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On 1 January 2017 the Financial Services Rule Book 2016 comes into operation. With this will be the requirement on all Isle of Man licence holders to establish, implement and maintain an effective whistleblowing policy.
The Ministry of Human Resources has recently issued a string of new ministerial resolutions and decrees designed to address gaps in the employment regulatory framework and reinforce existing legislation...
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