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Thread: New contract with restrictive covenant

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    0 Post(s)

    Default New contract with restrictive covenant

    Hi All new today and need perspective.

    I have worked for employer more than 5 yrs. I have a permanent contract with no flex clause in specific terms. Suddenly employer drafts new contracts for all staff that have an RC attached and a new handbook with some questionable new rules. One of which expects the signature to be the acceptance of audio. The audio units pick up our private conversations and there is no business reason for them. They have them installed already the wiring runs into a locked room. The RC includes a non compete and we are not specialists or senior staff or sales. We cant as we dont have any secrets to take with us.

    We were not told or consulted about the changes, the paperwork was printed and issued and signatures expected. When a few of us objected as we realised we would be disadvantaged we were pushed and pressured and ultimately informally privately told we were terminated and re engaged. I was at the stage of getting advice and had drafted concerns and questions for an informal meeting. I wasnt given a chance to ask neither was my colleague and she was told the same. Immediately after these chats in the backroom the manager put the staff wanted poster in the window.

    I was advised I had been unfairly dismissed.I stated I was working under protest and was seeking advice. I then put in grievance. It was ignored for a week. I got a visit from an MD (small company MDs are related and are also GMs) he was all smiles as he took me into the back for a chat. I was astonished at his jekyll and hyde change. He told me there will be no hearing. I will not get anything changed. He lied and said Id already had informal talks and in an intimidating manner he was warning me to back down. I kept calm as I know how unscrupulous they are. I calmly asked if he would email everything he has just said as I need to consult the union (the union is not within the company) he stormed off furious and said I will get my hearing but I will get nothing.

    Though I have ongoing advice can anyone offer their perspective, their thoughts on what should have happened or what to do next. I may not be on the track or hear something different.

    Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    204 Post(s)

    Default Re: New contract with restrictive covenant

    Almost none of what you've written should have happened. I hope that you've kept detailed notes (including dates, time, who was present etc.) of everything that's happened so far. If not, do it now while it's still fresh in your mind.

    Make sure that, as soon as you find out when the hearing will be, you put in a written request to be accompanied at the hearing by a named, trusted work colleague (or a union rep if you're a member); so that at least you'll have a witness to what is said.

    As you're not senior staff and know no trade secrets it's unlikely that the RC would be enforceable.
    What are the other questionable new rules and what reason has your employer given for the audio recording?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2017
    0 Post(s)

    Default Re: New contract with restrictive covenant

    Yes I have kept diary and colleague will act as witness thankfully.

    I did but then they delayed their reply when I requested change of date as my chosen companion is my UO. Then the incident occurred in back room. Now Im back to waiting for a reply. Notice time is required for companions especially UO's. The delays and non communication are deliberate imo.

    Thats exactly what Ive thought and been told but non the less they are insured by a so called hr company for future litigation and I presume it will cost them nothing anyway to pursue anyone that breaches RC.

    Various: non committal of christmas and new year wages/ misconduct will be incurred by unsatisfactory standards or amounts of work, when no targets or markers exist or ever have so they can just make it up/ up to 15x times the request in notice for time off/ unreasonable contractual notice on leaving. And more.

    They say security of employees. I can assure you its utter garbage, there is no risk. Its the textbook thing to say. I have spoken to the ICO. My employer will not answer me when 2 times via email I have asked for confirmation of audio working. The office is 30 ft long 8 foot wide has 5 people in it 4 remote access cameras over our heads and 2 audio units. We are not MI5, MOD or grading diamonds. They are simply spying on us.
    Last edited by littlewren; 18th May 2017 at 22:05:PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2017
    0 Post(s)

    Default Re: New contract with restrictive covenant

    Quote Originally Posted by mariefab View Post
    Almost none of what you've written should have happened.
    What should have happened instead? Please explain what they did wrong. Thanks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    76 Post(s)

    Default Re: New contract with restrictive covenant

    Changes to an employment contract should be done via consultation and getting an employee’s agreement to the changes. Employers should:

    • consult or negotiate with employees or their representatives (eg from a trade union or staff association)
    • explain the reasons for changes
    • listen to alternative ideas from employees or their representatives.

    It would appear that this has not been done in your current situation.

    I cannot work out from your post what the current status is of your employment pending your grievance. Are you still employed by the company or is the company in the process of ending your employment and re-employing you on the new terms and conditions?

    With regard to the audio/camera tracking there are 3 legal obligations your employer needs to bear in mind:

    1. Trust & Confidence: employers should not act in a way, without reasonable and proper cause, which is likely to destroy or damage the relationship of mutual trust and confidence between themselves and employees.
    2. Data Protection Act (DPA): employers should act in accordance with the DPA and its eight key principles.
    3. Human Rights Act (HRA): the right to privacy and your employee needs to ensure their monitoring is not disproportionate or intrusive.
    I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
    If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.

    You can’t always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

    You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2017
    0 Post(s)

    Default Re: New contract with restrictive covenant

    I was working under protest pending grievance at time of starting thread due to being terminated and re-engaged ( but not the correct way with notice or in writing) Hearing has been carried out now and there will be an appeal as they will not negotiate the audio. They falsely claim they have been through the correct procedure. They claim they have applied for its registration. They believe that by forcing it upon staff through new contracts its ok to have it. I will lose my job or walk unless I back off.

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