How enforceable are non-compete clauses in an employment contract?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 7 January 2014
Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

A non-compete clause in an employment contract is one of the most common types of restrictive covenant. The difficulty with non-compete clauses, from an employer's point of view, is that as with any part of a contract of employment, employees have a number of statutory rights, regardless of what the contract says.

In such circumstances, if an employer wants to enforce a non-compete clause, they need to be able to convincingly prove in court that a non-compete clause is absolutely necessary to protect a 'legitimate business interest'. Simply proving that the employer will suffer from more competition will not suffice.

Furthermore, if a non-compete clause is found to be disproportionately

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Arthur Cox. Contact telephone number is +44 28 9026 2673 or email

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