Data Protection Toolkit

Businesses need to understand the key legal obligations they have when dealing with personal data about customers, suppliers, employees or any other individual who may be encountered during the course of business.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published a new toolkit for businesses to use to help increase awareness among their staff of the importance of handling data securely and confidentially. The toolkit provides a range of free downloadable materials including posters, bin stickers and postcards for businesses to use in all staff areas.

The ICO has also started offering advisory visits to businesses, in addition to its data protection audits.  The visits are aimed at SMEs that process significant volumes of personal information or sensitive personal data.

For advice on Commercial Law and Employment Law please contact:

Roland Callaby
Neil Howlett
Andy Hambleton

Restrictive Covenants in Employment Contracts

It is sensible for employers to protect themselves by having Restrictive Covenants in Employment Contracts, as otherwise employees may use knowledge and contacts acquired during their employment to compete with their employer after they leave. However, such covenants are ineffective if they are poorly drafted.

A High Court decision illustrates the importance to employers of having effective restrictive covenants, appropriately drafted to an employee’s role, to protect their business. The restrictive covenant in this case stated:

“During your employment with Customer Systems (CS) and for a period of one year afterwards you undertake not to be employed directly or indirectly by any present or past customer of CS with which you have been personally involved in the course of your employment by CS.”

The court held that the covenant relied on by the employer was unenforceable. Its 12-month duration was considered too long, as there was no time limit on the interval between the employee’s involvement with a customer and the employee leaving the business. The inclusion of past customers without any limit on time was unreasonable, as was the absence of any time limit on the employee’s previous involvement with the customer.

For advice on Employment Law contact:
Roland Callaby
Neil Howlett
Andy Hambleton