On behalf of our members, I took a motion seeking to criminalise non-compete clauses, I moved the motion, and it was seconded.

Here are my speech notes,

President, Congress, Dave Levy, London Region, London Central General moving M 190 Prohibition of Non-Compete Clauses

Non-Compete clauses are clauses in contracts which prohibit someone from ‘competing’ with an employer for a period and within a geography after they leave. The terms of these clauses are often open to legal review as it is not legal for them to be so extensive as  to stop someone earning a living.

Many assume that this is an issue that only impact highly paid business leaders or salespersons. The idea is to ensure that strategies aren’t copied and in the case of Sales persons that they don’t take their address book with them.

But I have seen numerous cases where my branch members are impacted by these clauses, in the health clubs and in the beauty industry. Managements seek to impose these clauses even when the departure is involuntary. In the health clubs, I have seen world wide bans sought.

The Govt is consulting if it should prohibit these clauses or create an enhanced duty to compensate.

In many, economies where innovation is considered important, these clauses are banned.

I wrote this because of the number of personal cases coming from the health clubs and beauty industry; this is common and wrong!

Our branch has many lawyers and I consulted one of the top practioners in the area and we came to the conclusion that if we argue for compensation for non compete clauses, the wages of our members are so low, that employers will just pay it in order to keep the rest of the work force locked in and enclose their joint customers. Enhance compensation legalises these bans, prohibiton criminalises them.

Furthermore,  we couldn’t think of a definition of a threshold between prohibition and compensation that works for the low paid, our members!

The disgrace here is that through the debate in the workplace, the customer is forgotten and in the case of our members, there should be no question that it is the right of the customer to follow such personal service providers as they choose. All managements provide is a room.

The CEC will ask you to refer this motion as they have not made up their mind on the govt’s proposed options.

Only prohibition works for our members.

But given the choice between a refer and oppose position, we will reluctantly agree to refer.

And so it was referred!

Non-compete clauses
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