Restraints of trade in employment
Computerworld reports on an Employment Relations Authority decision upholding a restraint of trade clause for a former IT account manager. Restraint clauses are common in the IT industry, as in others, and can be particularly important given the significance of IP and know-how in the IT sector. The article notes that the decision “belies the commonly-held belief that restraint of trade clauses are difficult to enforce”. It is true that the ERA and the Courts will strike down or limit unreasonable restraint clauses, but in recent years the Courts have tended to uphold restraint clauses. The conduct of the parties post-termination is also likely to be relevant, with “bad behaviour” on either side likely to be taken into account by the relevant authority.
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