It is common
practice for employers to include specific terms within employment contracts to
place restrictions on workers once they leave their employment. These are
referred to in employment law as ‘Restrictive Covenants’. By restricting employee rights, employers are
typically seeking to protect their own business or organisational interests.
If you are a prospective employee, employee, or former employee, and you need guidance on restrictive covenants within a contract of employment provided by your employer, our specialist team of employment law Solicitors can provide you with sharp, insightful legal guidance which will protect your best interests.
What may restrictive covenants cover?
contracts of employment will contain restrictive covenants, and those that do
will typically vary between employers, depending on the specific interests they
were seeking to protect when it was drafted.
Restrictive covenants may seek to prevent employees from:
customers (existing and potential)
with customers (even if the customer approaches the former employee)
by using confidential information
Employers may include very specific terms and dates on restrictive covenants, and, therefore, before signing an employment contract, it is important you read each in detail and understand all of the implications and consequences.
Are restrictive covenants enforceable in Ireland?
Just because an
employer has included provision for specific restrictive covenants, the Court
may not uphold them. As such, some
restrictive covenants may be enforceable, but others may not be. If the Court are asked to rule on a legal
matter in relation to restrictive covenants, they will consider three key
the intended restriction been clearly defined?
If you are being restricted from entering into competition, does the
contract make it clear which specific trade or profession this relates to?
a reasonable geographic limit or product scope been included; i.e. it might be
unreasonable to stop an employee from working in the same domain in all
geographies, or product types.
the employee imposed an end date on the restriction post-termination which is
as short a feasibly possible?
Employers must ensure restrictive covenants are not included as a blanket provision, and therefore must be carefully considered for each individual role. This is because the restrictions which may reasonably be included for a senior company director will typically differ from a more junior member of staff.
How can Lavelle Partners assist with restrictive covenants?
- Lavelle Partners have been working in the field of employment law for over 30 years and have the experience to represent your interests.
- We have clients from many sectors including finance, manufacturing, and technology, and therefore understand the business and sector context in which employment contracts are written. And because we understand the commercial forces which motivate businesses and organisations, we are well placed to defend at the interests of employees.
- Lavelle Partners have gained an enviable reputation across Ireland for providing legal representation and advice which achieves results for our clients.
- Our team of employment law specialists understand that employees may be placed into challenging and often emotionally charged situations. As such, our team will work with you in a manner that is supportive and approachable, while being legally robust and strategically astute.
Our partnership with Talbot Pierce
Partners work with Talbot Pierce to provide a seamless service in respect of
Human Resource Management. Talbot Pierce
are a team of specialist HR professionals who work with us on a range of
matters including advice on and delivery of conflict/dispute resolution
solutions, best-practice HR strategies, policies and procedures.
information on employment contract restrictive covenants in Ireland, please contact
Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800.