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SA Reasonable Time for Restraint of Trade?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by Deb from Mid North, 25 August 2016.

  1. Deb from Mid North

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    If I have signed a contract for 12 months. Is a 6-month restraint of trade reasonable? If I return to the same company for a specified period of not more than 6 months, what is a reasonable time period to negotiate Restraint of Trade?
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Hard to say without more information. At first instance, it seems excessive but there can be valid reasons why it is not unreasonable.
     
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  3. Deb from Mid North

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    Thanks, Rod - My role with the company is to manage time specific projects and events. They have a number of clients which in the agricultural industry cross paths quite frequently. The one client is who I support is also a client of another competitive group for which I have an opportunity to work with.

    The first contract was for a very solid 12 months ending 30 June and I am about to be re-contracted for a shorter period for the same client. I would like to negotiate a reduction in the RoT so that I am not disadvantaged from working. I would like to maintain the relationship however the competitor would give me more consistent work and longer contract appointment.
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Project management while valuable, is not a unique skill set and there is nothing in the managing skill that requires a longer restraint clause.

    The issue becomes one of knowledge gained while working on the projects that may be very commercially sensitive to your employer.
    Suspect it comes down to what you will accept. The more senior the role, the more a court will put emphasis on your ability to negotiate your own contract terms.

    There is nothing stopping you negotiating for a change. You may not be successful, but it comes down to your choice whether to accept their contract terms or move elsewhere. If you accept their terms, you may be able to argue later the restraint was unfair but it then comes down to the individual circumstances of your case and then it is up to a court to decide what is fair, not a lawyer.
     

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