Back to Publication

Thematic Issue: Power, Workers and the Law

Employee Non-compete Restraints: Resolving Uncertainty


Andrew Fell and Elizabeth Rudz

Employment contracts often restrain the employee from competing with their former employer after their employment ends. These restraints can have a serious impact on employees, as they inhibit their ability to earn a livelihood. According to the restraint of trade doctrine, such restraints are only enforceable if they provide ‘reasonable’ protection for a legitimate interest of the employer. In this article, we attempt to resolve several continuing legal issues and uncertainties in the enforcement of post-employment non-compete restraints, including the scope of the employer’s legitimate interests, the relevance of the employee’s interests, the requirements for severing unreasonable restraints, the enforceability of ‘cascading’ restraints, and others.

Access the link here or view PDF to the left.