Industrial Relations And Labour Laws
Software Engineer

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Worked for more than six years, at the time of joining no such agreement. Employer did not provide any training etc. I was having about 27 yrs. experience before joining the company. Started the mfg. company from zero and owner utilize my expertise which I gained in profession. Six months back asked me to leave but I had to write the resignation and signed a non-compete agreement for a duration of 5 yrs. otherwise employer was not ready to settle my dues - like salary, gratuity, leave encashment etc. In settlement papers he used the term Notice pay, is it suffice to justify termination. If I have resigned why employer is paying notice pay. I have no other source of income except salary .Is this non-compete agreement legally enforceable if I work in the similar profession when no compensation will be given by protected party.It means I can not earn in future from the profession in which I am serving for last 33yrs.
From India, Delhi
Negative covenants and undertaking taken from an employee that he will not join a competitor company for a certain period of time are illegal and will not be binding on the employee. If you have already got the settlement amounts, forget about the notice pay issues in it. Now you are free to join any company you wish including your previous company's competitor. The previous employer cannot initiate any legal action against you. He may send a few letters and even letters through advocates but do not reply to these letters or just say quoting a judgement in Sandhya Organic Chemicals v. United Phosphorous that an employee cannot be prevented from utilizing the knowledge and experience that he has gained while being in employment and an agreement between the parties prohibiting an employee from taking employment with a competitor was held to be void and contrary to section 27 of the Indian Contract Act. The Supreme Court has also ruled that a service covenant extended beyond the termination of the service is void.


From India, Kannur
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