Restrictive covenants

A restrictive covenant is an agreement (usually a clause within a contract of employment) between an employer and an employee that restrains the employee from carrying out certain actions both during employment and in the event that the employment ceases.

The actions that covenants commonly seek to prevent a former employee from carrying out include: competing with the employer, taking the employer's trade secrets and soliciting the employer's clients and/or staff.


Restrictive covenants are useful for businesses where the value is in their people.   For example, what is the Great British Bake Off (other than a tent) without  Mary Berry (pictured above with winning contestant Nadiya Hussain)? Photo: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

Restrictive covenants: would a “non-compete” clause have kept Mary Berry on the Bake Off?

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Three of the four GBBO presenters have announced they are leaving the show. Photo: Steve Meddle/ITV/REX/Shutterstock

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