Silencing former employees

2015-07-15 Philip posted:

It has been long established that an employer can be granted an injunction against a former employee if they disclose confidential information against the terms of their contract. An injunction is a court order that they must stop doing something.

What if the employer and employee enter into into a settlement agreement to terminate the employee’s employment? A recent case decided the employee could be injuncted if they are in breach of the agreement.

In the case of RSM International v Harrison, an employee signed a settlement agreement with RSM International. It contained clauses that there were to be no derogatory comments and that matters should remain confidential. The agreement specifically stated that RSM would be entitled to an injunction if the employee made such comments or breached confidentiality. He entered into the agreement on the basis of legal advice and received a severance payment for doing so.

Following this, the employee made numerous allegations against the company concerning dishonesty and malpractice. RSM asked him to cease but he refused to do so. RSM issued a High Court claim for an injunction. The injunction was granted. The judge said the employee had been warned but he had refused to quieten down.

If you wish to enforce restrictions in a contract or settlement agreement it is important that legal advice is obtained as early as possible. Our team of employment law solicitors regularly advise both businesses and employees on the enforcement and defending proceedings in the County Court and High Court.

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