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  • FIRST POST
    • immuno
    • By immuno 28th Sep 17, 4:55 PM
    • 223Posts
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    immuno
    Can I also be self-employed on this contract?
    • #1
    • 28th Sep 17, 4:55 PM
    Can I also be self-employed on this contract? 28th Sep 17 at 4:55 PM
    Hi everyone,

    My contract says the following "you must not, except with our prior written consent (not to be unreasonably withheld) be engaged or interested in any other business, trade, profession or occupation whatsoever."

    Does this mean I can't be a self-employed contractor working for Leapforce or Lionbridge?

    Thanks!
Page 1
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 28th Sep 17, 5:25 PM
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    ReadingTim
    • #2
    • 28th Sep 17, 5:25 PM
    • #2
    • 28th Sep 17, 5:25 PM
    No, you can, but you must write and ask permission first, and they must write back and give it. Permission won't be unreasonably withheld, which means they won't say no, unless there's a good reason - for example that you're working for a competitor, or setting up a business in a related field, and would be competition for them.
    • immuno
    • By immuno 28th Sep 17, 5:30 PM
    • 223 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    immuno
    • #3
    • 28th Sep 17, 5:30 PM
    • #3
    • 28th Sep 17, 5:30 PM
    No, you can, but you must write and ask permission first, and they must write back and give it. Permission won't be unreasonably withheld, which means they won't say no, unless there's a good reason - for example that you're working for a competitor, or setting up a business in a related field, and would be competition for them.
    Originally posted by ReadingTim
    Thanks. Mm so I'd still need permission even if I'm self-employed? I can't really ask them as they'll worry that it'll distract me from my duties and they've made it clear that I can't do extra work!
    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 28th Sep 17, 6:19 PM
    • 9,318 Posts
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    Pennywise
    • #4
    • 28th Sep 17, 6:19 PM
    • #4
    • 28th Sep 17, 6:19 PM
    so I'd still need permission even if I'm self-employed?
    Originally posted by immuno
    Self employment means being in business so yes, you would still need permission.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 28th Sep 17, 6:45 PM
    • 30,211 Posts
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    getmore4less
    • #5
    • 28th Sep 17, 6:45 PM
    • #5
    • 28th Sep 17, 6:45 PM
    Thanks. Mm so I'd still need permission even if I'm self-employed? I can't really ask them as they'll worry that it'll distract me from my duties and they've made it clear that I can't do extra work!
    Originally posted by immuno
    That is unreasonable refusal.

    If the contract is variable hours that can be zero(not just zero hours) then you can legally ignore that term in the contract.

    Why would they think it distracts from your duties.

    They have some obligations to check you don't overwork or engage in any conflicts of interest but generally doing other work should never be an issue.
    • Sarastro
    • By Sarastro 28th Sep 17, 7:09 PM
    • 223 Posts
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    Sarastro
    • #6
    • 28th Sep 17, 7:09 PM
    • #6
    • 28th Sep 17, 7:09 PM
    This is a helpful article.
    http://www.jobsite.co.uk/worklife/beware-restrictive-covenants-contract-employment-restrict-options-move-jobs-10827/
    I'm struggling to see what their justification would be for the restriction - and that's quite key. If they refuse permission for you to work elsewhere and then fail to give you sufficient hours to survive, that's a constructive dismissal case, so it's not really in their interest to enforce it. I think it's probably badly worded. I'd test the water. Ask them if they would refuse permission in principle before you make an application to work elsewhere. If they say no, fine. If they say yes, ask for a minimum number of hours a week.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 28th Sep 17, 9:11 PM
    • 1,889 Posts
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    steampowered
    • #7
    • 28th Sep 17, 9:11 PM
    • #7
    • 28th Sep 17, 9:11 PM
    Technically, the best thing would be to get their consent. But to be honest I struggle to see how they could enforce that clause even if you did breach it.

    In reality, would they find out about your self-employment?

    Even if they did find out, would they care?

    And would they even remember that there is a clause in your employment contract about this?

    If the answer to any of those questions is 'no', I'd be tempted to just go ahead without bothering to get consent.
    • immuno
    • By immuno 29th Sep 17, 9:43 AM
    • 223 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    immuno
    • #8
    • 29th Sep 17, 9:43 AM
    • #8
    • 29th Sep 17, 9:43 AM
    Technically, the best thing would be to get their consent. But to be honest I struggle to see how they could enforce that clause even if you did breach it.

    In reality, would they find out about your self-employment?

    Even if they did find out, would they care?

    And would they even remember that there is a clause in your employment contract about this?

    If the answer to any of those questions is 'no', I'd be tempted to just go ahead without bothering to get consent.
    Originally posted by steampowered
    Mm yeah, I'm wondering how they could find out? Would the accounts person find out via tax codes, etc? There's only 20 of us in the company, so it's pretty intimate.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 29th Sep 17, 10:25 AM
    • 905 Posts
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    Comms69
    • #9
    • 29th Sep 17, 10:25 AM
    • #9
    • 29th Sep 17, 10:25 AM
    Mm yeah, I'm wondering how they could find out? Would the accounts person find out via tax codes, etc? There's only 20 of us in the company, so it's pretty intimate.
    Originally posted by immuno
    The tax code could be different due to investments or rent, or any other type of income
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 29th Sep 17, 10:33 AM
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    getmore4less
    The tax code could be different due to investments or rent, or any other type of income
    Originally posted by Comms69
    The OP would need permission to do a letting business.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 29th Sep 17, 10:44 AM
    • 905 Posts
    • 736 Thanks
    Comms69
    The OP would need permission to do a letting business.
    Originally posted by getmore4less


    Yes I suppose that could be true. I'm not convinced 100% as it's an investment no different to owning stocks, shares or whatever else.


    But in any case, the tax code wouldn't give that away
    • robatwork
    • By robatwork 29th Sep 17, 12:45 PM
    • 3,995 Posts
    • 4,340 Thanks
    robatwork
    If you came into work knackered every morning because you had been up very late every night working at your second job, then your employers would have every right to withhold (or withdraw) permission.

    If on the other hand this was a weekend thing and had no impact on your main job then they would have no reason to object.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 29th Sep 17, 9:00 PM
    • 1,889 Posts
    • 1,768 Thanks
    steampowered
    Mm yeah, I'm wondering how they could find out? Would the accounts person find out via tax codes, etc? There's only 20 of us in the company, so it's pretty intimate.
    Originally posted by immuno
    Doubt it. The tax code BR is used for your second job rather than your first, as I understand it.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 29th Sep 17, 9:28 PM
    • 30,211 Posts
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    getmore4less
    Yes I suppose that could be true. I'm not convinced 100% as it's an investment no different to owning stocks, shares or whatever else.y
    Originally posted by Comms69
    It's a letting business.

    As would taking in lodgers.

    the scope of the terms are quite wide

    volunteer in a charity shop.
    • matttye
    • By matttye 29th Sep 17, 10:15 PM
    • 4,726 Posts
    • 2,982 Thanks
    matttye
    I'm a Contract Law student.

    This is called a restraint of trade clause and the law says it has to be reasonable as between the parties to protect their interests. The courts will consider the scope of the restraint, the duration and also the area.

    Some cases where restraint of trade clauses were held to be too wide are:

    Marley Tile Co Ltd v Johnson [1982] - The defendant agreed not to “canvass, solicitor or deal with the claimant’s or similar products within any area he had been employed for the 12 months before the contract was terminated”. This area included Devon and Cornwall which the court held was far too wide an area and therefore unreasonable and void.

    Attwood v Lamont [1920] - defendant was a general outfitter. He signed a restraint clause which sought to prevent him from working as a tailor, dressmaker, general draper, milliner, hatter, haberdasher, gentlement’s, ladies’ or children’s outfitter within 10 miles of Kidderminster. Again held too wide.

    The one in your contract is even wider than these examples so I think a court would probably determine it too wide.
    What will your verse be?

    R.I.P Robin Williams.
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 2nd Oct 17, 12:45 PM
    • 2,147 Posts
    • 3,048 Thanks
    ReadingTim
    I'm a Contract Law student.

    This is called a restraint of trade clause and the law says it has to be reasonable as between the parties to protect their interests. The courts will consider the scope of the restraint, the duration and also the area.

    Some cases where restraint of trade clauses were held to be too wide are:

    Marley Tile Co Ltd v Johnson [1982] - The defendant agreed not to “canvass, solicitor or deal with the claimant’s or similar products within any area he had been employed for the 12 months before the contract was terminated”. This area included Devon and Cornwall which the court held was far too wide an area and therefore unreasonable and void.

    Attwood v Lamont [1920] - defendant was a general outfitter. He signed a restraint clause which sought to prevent him from working as a tailor, dressmaker, general draper, milliner, hatter, haberdasher, gentlement’s, ladies’ or children’s outfitter within 10 miles of Kidderminster. Again held too wide.

    The one in your contract is even wider than these examples so I think a court would probably determine it too wide.
    Originally posted by matttye
    Riiiiiiiiiiight...... did you miss the bit about consent "not to be unreasonably withheld"?
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 2nd Oct 17, 3:12 PM
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    getmore4less
    And this is additional work during employment not after leaving.
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