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.


Reforming non-competes? ‘Anti-business, worrying, unnecessary’

The government’s determination to curtail the use of non-compete clauses in employment contracts has been met with concern by legal...

‘Unfair’ non-compete and exclusivity clauses to be curtailed

4 Dec 2020

The government has confirmed it intends to crack down on and potentially ban the use of non-compete clauses in employment...

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Government to limit use of non-compete clauses

1 Dec 2020

The government is looking to limit the use of non-compete clauses in an effort to stimulate a more entrepreneurial culture,...

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Employers watch BBC’s social media struggles with interest

1 Oct 2020

Legal expert says BBC's new impartiality drive has lessons for businesses worried over brand damage from employees' posts.

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Should you enforce restrictive covenants during a pandemic?

25 Aug 2020

With so many redundancies in the air, it's time for companies to reassess their attitudes towards restrictive covenants, argues Imogen Finnegan.

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‘All views my own’: Monitoring employees’ social media

18 Aug 2020

Social media has grown in use exponentially since Facebook was launched 16 years ago, and so has the risk to...

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The 10 most important employment law cases in 2019

11 Dec 2019

We round up the most significant cases of the year including legal judgments on CCTV, restrictive covenants, enhancing shared parental leave, collective bargaining and more...

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To compete or not compete, that is the question

10 Jul 2019

The recent judgment on restrictive covenants in contracts, Tillman v Egon Zehnder, overturned a century-old principle on competition clauses. But...

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Supreme Court overturns long-held principle on non-compete clauses

3 Jul 2019

The Supreme Court hands down a decision that overturns a century-old principle on employee competition clauses.

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Mary-Caroline Tillman

Non-compete clause case should give business pause for thought

28 Jan 2019

Businesses, particularly in the finance, technology, pharma, IT and manufacturing sectors use non-compete provisions to protect against potentially unfair competition...

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Wording of restrictive covenants comes under Supreme Court spotlight

23 Jan 2019

Employers are being warned about the wording of restrictive covenants...

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Six employment law decisions that will shape 2019

11 Jan 2019

Which employment law decisions will shape 2019? We outline six of the most significant cases in the pipeline – from...

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Nine New Year’s resolutions for HR

8 Jan 2019

You may be eating more healthily, exercising more or doing dry January, but for HR professionals returning to work, legal...

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Springboard injunctions: Case law shows mixed success

21 Sep 2017

Employers often use interim or “springboard” injunctions to protect confidential information after employees decide to leave. But they are not...

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

31 Oct 2016

The Government is considering a ban on restrictive covenants, but would this open the door to more poaching of staff?...

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