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Non compete clause

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Can a restrictive trade/non compete clause in an employment contract be enforced for someone under 18?

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  • SiliconChip
    SiliconChip Posts: 1,405 Forumite
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    It's an interesting question, in general under 18s cannot be held to contracts themselves, but I suspect that may well not be the case for contracts of employment. Whether the non-compete clause itself can be enforced will depend on how it's worded, partlicularly regarding the length of time and geographical cover. I wouldn't normally suggest it but this might be something that ACAS could advise on.
    I'd be interested to know how an under 18 has gained enough job-specific knowledge to warrant a non-compete clause anyway.
  • Sandtree
    Sandtree Posts: 10,628 Forumite
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    DHUT said:
    Can a restrictive trade/non compete clause in an employment contract be enforced for someone under 18?
    Potentially, whilst contracts are generally not binding for minors (under 18s) there are explicit exceptions such as those on education, employment, apprenticeships and "necessaries" (things like buying food, medicine, clothings, accommodation etc)

    So their age certainly isn't a get out clause however more generally non-compete clauses can be struck out by the courts as too restrictive/unfair and so it really depends on the exact wording, their seniority, etc etc
  • NCC1701-A
    NCC1701-A Posts: 359 Forumite
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    DHUT said:
    Can a restrictive trade/non compete clause in an employment contract be enforced for someone under 18?
    Appears to be enforceable for professional football players, maybe provide a bit more context like industry, range of non-compete clause.

  • TheSpiddalKid
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    Bear in mind as well that restrictive covenants in zero-hours contracts were made illegal a few years ago. If this may have any relevance.
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 11,188 Forumite
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    DHUT said:
    Can a restrictive trade/non compete clause in an employment contract be enforced for someone under 18?
    Technically yes, but the sectors in which this might happen are limited. Very few under 18s will have any skills, technical knowledge or anything else which would make it worth the employer's while to try and enforce the clause.
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
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