If you’re considering a new job, you may be wondering if you’ll be able to get around a non-compete agreement. A non-compete agreement is a contract between an employer and employee confirming that the employee agrees not to compete with the employer during or after the employment relationship. Non-compete agreements are often used to protect an employer’s business interests, such as trade secrets, confidential information, or customers.
There are some restrictions on what can be included in a non-compete agreement in Australia. For example, the agreement must not be unfair or unreasonable and must not restrain an employee from working in their chosen profession or trade.
If you are considering entering a non-compete agreement, it is essential to seek legal advice to ensure the agreement is valid and enforceable. If an employer asks you to sign a non-compete agreement, you should ensure that you understand the terms before you sign it.
You may be able to negotiate the terms of the agreement, or you may be able to get around the agreement altogether.
How to Deal with a Non-Compete Agreement
Here are some tips you can follow:
1. Talk to a Lawyer
If you have been asked to sign a non-compete agreement or are already subject to one, you must speak with a lawyer to understand your rights and obligations. A lawyer can also help you negotiate the terms of the agreement or determine whether the agreement is enforceable.
2. Consider the Scope of the Agreement
Non-compete agreements vary in scope and can be broadly or narrowly written. When considering whether to sign a non-compete agreement, pay close attention to the geographic scope, the duration of the agreement, and the type of activities that are restricted.
3. Limit the Scope of the Agreement
If you are asked to sign a non-compete agreement, you may be able to negotiate the terms of the agreement to limit the scope. For example, you may be able to modify the geographic scope or duration of the agreement.
4. Exclude Certain Activities from the Agreement
When negotiating the terms of a non-compete agreement, you may be able to exclude specific activities from the agreement. For example, you may be able to exclude certain types of customers or certain types of services from the agreement.
5. Negotiate a “Severance Package” in Exchange for Signing the Agreement
If you are asked to sign a non-compete agreement, you may be able to negotiate a “severance package” in exchange for signing the agreement. That could include, for example, a cash payment, a bonus, or other benefits.
6. Don’t Sign the Agreement If You Disagree or Don’t Understand It
If you don’t understand the terms of a non-compete agreement, you should not sign it. If you have questions about the agreement, you should ask the employer to explain it to you. Again, you should also seek the advice of a lawyer before signing the agreement.
7. Don’t Sign the Agreement If You’re Not Given Sufficient Time to Read and Understand It
If you are not given sufficient time to read and understand a non-compete agreement, you should not sign it. If you have questions about the agreement, you should ask the employer to explain the agreement to you.
8. Don’t Sign the Agreement If the Employer Refuses to Make Changes You Requested
You should not sign the agreement if you request changes to a non-compete agreement and the employer refuses to make the changes.
While it may be challenging to get around a non-compete agreement, it is possible to do so with the help of a lawyer. Employers use non-compete agreements to prevent employees from leaving and working for a competitor. However, these agreements are not always enforceable. If you are thinking about quitting your job and going to work for a competitor, you should talk to a lawyer to see if you can get around your non-compete agreement.
Find an employment lawyer in Brisbane to ensure you get the general protections every employer needs. At Saines Legal, we have a team of experienced and knowledgeable lawyers in all areas of employment law. We focus on providing a tailored approach to our client’s needs to make sure you get what you need. Contact us today.