In East England Schools CIC (trading as 4myschools) v Palmer, 4myschools, an education recruitment company, claimed that one of its former employees had breached her restrictive covenants by soliciting its clients.
The court enforced the company’s restrictive covenants against the employee even though it found that there was little loyalty owed to a particular consultant or agency and even though much of the relevant information about teachers and schools was publicly available through social media.
What does this mean?
The good news for recruitment companies is that the availability of information online did not stop the company from protecting its business. Indeed, the court decided that the fragility of customer and client loyalty made it even more important for the company to have this protection.
What should we do?
Make sure that contractual clauses preventing former employees from soliciting customers or clients are drafted with social media in mind. Consider requiring employees to remove client contacts from LinkedIn (or other similar networking sites) before employment termination.