QLD Non-compete clauses

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Tomtomtipper

Member
30 July 2020
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Hello,

I work in a specific discipline of IT. In my current role (small Aus business), I am both customer facing (professional services) and technical. I have a non-compete clause in my contract.

I have been offered a job at a company (large US based company) that we wouldn't classify as a competitor day-to-day internally where I work, we have never competed with them for tenders or work, but you could probably justify them as a competitor.

The new role is purely technical, non-customer facing. Even if I stole client lists from my current employer, they would be worthless in my new role as I am not in sales or chasing new work. I would never be in a position where I would even know who the new company was targeting as new clients until after we got the job. Lots of layers of fat until the work lands on my desk.

I also don't have any industry secrets, as being in IT, most things just follow best practice.

Would a non-compete be applicable here? Can an employer only take me to court if they deem there has been a loss in revenue?
 

Tim W

Lawyer
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28 April 2014
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Are you a conventional employee, or some sort of contractor?
 

Tomtomtipper

Member
30 July 2020
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Hi Tim,

Thanks for your reply. I am a conventional employee (full-time).

I re-read my employment agreement and I think it only states that I do not engage with current clients or entice existing employees to the new organisation.

What are your thoughts on both situations, noting that I have no bad intentions at all?
 

Rod

Lawyer
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27 May 2014
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Based solely on your posts, and without have read any agreement, sounds like you are OK.
 

Tim W

Lawyer
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I agree with @Rod.

NCAs are more about you setting up your own shop,
and less about stopping you going to work as a conventional employee
for others in the same market.

In any event, it is less than likely that any court will uphold an NCA for an employee,
the effect of which is to prevent them from working in their field.

Worry more about your "outgoing" employer putting it about to his existing customers that he sacked you, when that is not the truth.