Dominic Cummings and Employee Confidentiality

Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings – the Brexit bromance has exploded spectacularly all over the papers. The thing that stands out to an employment lawyer about this week’s very public spat, is just how much data Cummings has retained in his possession relating to his former employment.

 

Cummings’ blog says  “I have made the offer to hand odom 150x150 Dominic Cummings and Employee Confidentialityver some private text messages, even though I am under no legal obligation to do so….

 

 

 

 

We would really love to have a look at that man’s contract of employment. Most employees, especially senior executives, have extensive clauses in their contracts of employment or service agreements that govern what they are allowed to do with confidential information both during and after the termination of their employment. The nannies in C-list celebrity families are bound up in more restrictions about what they can say than Dominic Cummings appears to be.

From an employment law perspective, the whole thing is astonishing. obligations in a contract of employment usually last in perpetuity and employers take them very seriously. Problems around them often arise in relation to restrictions on working with clients and competitors in a subsequent role, or sometimes due to whistleblowing.

These issues are complex and worth seeking proper legal advice on. We regularly assist employees who are struggling with these problems at Fox Whitfield.

If you think we can help, please contact Sarah Russell on 07985 106 233.

COVID-19 Redundancies

Sadly many people will be made redundant in the coming weeks and months. This is an interesting article by the Telegraph about how to negotiate the best deal https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/job-risk-coronavirus-negotiate-best-settlement-deal/

We would add to this that the following are crucial:

1. Settlement agreements often contain a clause that says that your offer won’t be valid if you have received or are expecting an alternative offer of employment or a self-employed work. It is a good idea to get the agreement negotiated and signed off asap (even if the termination date is well into the future) so that you can safely commence your job search.

2. Many of our clients have restrictive covenants in their contracts of employment – clauses that will prevent you from working elsewhere in your industry. Clients sometimes assume that these are unenforceable or won’t be enforced and we often advise where this assumption has proven false. It is very important that you understand these restrictions and that they are removed or reduced via the settlement agreement.

3. Only speak to your immediate family about what is going on. Many settlement agreements contain retrospective confidentiality clauses that become a problem if people have spoken to friends or colleagues about problems at work.

4. Trust your gut. If you feel there is something not quite right about how you are being dealt with by your employer, you are probably right. Start taking notes of the conversations you have with them and seek legal advice at an early stage.

5. Instruct a good solicitor. You don’t have to come to us with a completed agreement. We can advise you on negotiation strategy behind the scenes, or conduct the negotiation for you. It’s what we do for a living, so we’re experienced at maximising the amount on offer whilst preserving your reputation.

Covid 19 Update

Fox Whitfield remains able to help both employees and employers with queries about Covid 19.

We have been assisting employees with settlement agreements and redundancy advice, and providing employers with furlough agreements and other help with staffing issues.

We have a nationwide client base whom we have been advising remotely for years. Covid 19 restrictions are no impediment to providing swift, affordable advice tailored to your situation. Please get in touch.

Are you exiting BT under the Early Leaver Scheme?

Sarah Russell of Fox Whitfield can help.

Are you exiting BT under the Early Leaver Scheme? Sarah has helped numerous BT employees.

Whether you are leaving genuinely voluntarily, or feel that you have been backed into a corner where taking redundancy is the only real option, Sarah can assist. She knows the BT settlement agreement well and knows which clauses they are likely to be prepared to negotiate on and which they are not. She provides prompt, practical advice.

Please contact Sarah on 07985 106 233 or sarahr@foxwhitfield.com.

SR 150x150 Are you exiting BT under the Early Leaver Scheme?

Fox Whitfield Change of Address

From 30 December 2018 our new postal address will be:

 

Unit 10 Wealden Forest Park

Herne Common

Herne Bay

Kent

CT6 7QL

 

We will still operate in Manchester and will still have access to meeting rooms in our current Didsbury address but all post should be sent to our new address in Kent.