QLD Restraint of trade clause for casual dental hygienist employee

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10 May 2021
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I am a dental hygienist and am employed as a casual, I have been working as a casual employee on and off for a few years.
I want to leave the practice and apply for local jobs, but I have been told that I have a no compete clause that says I can't work for any other dental practice within 8km.
As I am only a dental hygienist and only a casual employee (I have never been employed in an any other capacity), would this be considered a valid restriction?
 

Docupedia

Well-Known Member
7 October 2020
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Unlikely. Courts tend to be conservative in enforcing restraint clauses to begin with. This tends to be even more the case where the aim of the restraint is to deny someone the ability to earn a living.

Properly constructed restraint clauses have time and area/distance elements. The basis for this is that you can’t restrain someone forever, and you can’t restrain someone everywhere.

Then there is the factoring of what they are restraining, and how that is a legitimate protection of their business interests. No disrespect to you, but a casual dental hygienist simply trying to find a new job to make a living can hardly be considered a legitimate threat to their business interests.
 
10 May 2021
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Thank you for your reply, and no disrespect taken. It is at the end of a day a routine type job with no trade secrets, intellectual property etc.
It surprised me that the dental practice said that I can't work for any other practice (I should have said this above, for a year) within 8km, especially since I am only a casual.
 

Rod

Lawyer
LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
27 May 2014
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Finding a job is your first priority.

While they may seek to enforce the restraint, it is likely not going to be supported by a court.
 
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