The short answer is no, not yet, but their future looks uncertain. In this update we have a look at developments affecting restrictive covenants across various jurisdictions around the globe and what multinational employers should know.
Non-competition clauses (otherwise known as “non-competes” or restraints of trade) are clauses aimed at preventing an employee from joining a competitor for a certain period after the termination of their employment. Non-competes have been around since the Middle Ages, with the first known English case involving a restraint of trade emerging in 1414, when a Mr. Dyer promised to not exercise his trade in the same town he had been trained in for six months. Nowadays, non-compete clauses are common practice in the employment relationship and are often accompanied by other post-employment obligations including restrictions on soliciting or doing business with the former employer’s clients and other employees.