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Non Compete and Garden Leave

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breid10
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Non Compete and Garden Leave

Post by breid10 » Fri, 30 Aug 2019 10:37 am

During the downturn in the oil industry, my employer had me sign a non-compete clause. This was done at the same time as many of my colleagues were being retrenched. I don't remember the exact content of the NCA but for sure, it never mentioned garden leave. The position that I hold is a non managerial position and I have very limited access to company documents. I don't normally see any quotes that go to clients. Would I be right in thinking, that if I leave the company and they want to enforce my NCA, they would need to pay me "garden leave" to be able to enforce the NCA.?

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: Non Compete and Garden Leave

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 30 Aug 2019 3:39 pm

Without know what was in the contract, it would be impossible to make a call. Is there garden leave even specified in your contract? Or does you contract just have a provision for a notice period? As long as you haven't been terminated for cause, but being released, you either work out your notice period or the company can give you salary in lieu of notice. If you have a Non-Compete clause, that is entirely separate and that may have either a distance or time factor involved. However, it doesn't mean they have to pay anything aside from the salary in lieu of notice to you until the NCC is over.

If you resign, you work out your notice or pay them salary in lieu of the notice period stated in the contract. However, the NCC if in the contract is still in force for the period of time/distance stated which you signed when you started employment.

Now, whether the NCC is valid is a different story and only the courts would be able to determine if it's enforceable or not. A lawyer would be a better judge than I.

Maybe PNGMK or Strong Eagle will have some different/more input when they see this.

breid10
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Re: Non Compete and Garden Leave

Post by breid10 » Fri, 30 Aug 2019 4:01 pm

Thanks for the reply. As far as I know there is nothing about garden leave in my contract. But some ex employees that held managerial positions went straight to the opposition and got jobs, so I doubt they could enforce the NCC on me as I am not in a managerial position.

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PNGMK
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Re: Non Compete and Garden Leave

Post by PNGMK » Fri, 30 Aug 2019 5:56 pm

Honestly you need to ask HR for a copy and have a solicitor review it. I did that with mine and I can recall my solicitor laughing at how badly my contract was written (specifically in the non compete). Also in Singapore the courts are reluctant to enforce non-competes as they see it as a restriction of trade or profession which is anti-work. Exceptions are for stealing client lists or IP of course.
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