Introduction to this document

Outside business interests clause

Use our outside business interests clause to restrict the ability of an employee to take on other jobs or outside business interests, both during and outside their normal working hours.

All work and no play

It’s quite reasonable to require an employee to devote their whole time to your business during their normal working hours. After all, that’s what you pay them for! Normally, outside their working hours, employees should be free to do what they like. However, you can generally still restrict their outside activities in terms of engaging in second jobs (or self-employed activities). You are more likely to have an issue here where a second job would either result in them taking part in business activities that are in competition with your own business or create a conflict of interest or which would leave them too tired to carry out their normal duties for you. Our Outside Business Interests Clause makes clear that prior permission is required for an employee to take on a second job, but that it won’t be granted in either of these two scenarios and it also won’t be granted where health and safety is an issue or where there would be a breach of the maximum 48-hour working week (unless in the latter case an opt-out agreement has been signed). Where an employee wants to take on other part-time work that doesn’t compete and that won’t impair their ability to perform their duties for you (and much here may depend on the hours they already work for you), consider agreeing to their request. If you do grant permission for the employee to take on a second job, our clause goes on to provide that this will be subject to annual review and that you reserve the right to rescind permission at any time if it transpires that the other job is having an adverse impact on the employee’s performance, attendance, timekeeping, etc. Note that, regardless of whether a clause provides an outright ban on or requires your consent to a second job, it will be unenforceable if it’s in the contract of a zero-hours employee, or an employee whose net average weekly wages don’t exceed the lower earnings limit.

Getting ready to leave

Our clause also places various obligations on the employee which should ensure that you're put on advance notice about possible team moves, an employee setting themselves up in competition with you or planning to leave to work for a competitor. Under the provisions, an employee is required to act in the best interests of the Company at all times, take all necessary steps to avoid conflicts of interest and to report any possible conflict, immediately disclose any knowledge or suspicion that they, or any other employee, has plans to commit, is committing or has committed a serious breach of duty, a serious wrongdoing or misconduct and report any direct or indirect approaches that are made to them by a competitor. We've also placed the employee under an express obligation to report bribery and the criminal facilitation of tax evasion (including reporting their own wrongdoing) in order to help you comply with the Bribery Act 2010 and the Criminal Finances Act 2017.