Can my employer stop me from working as a subcontractor for another security company?

10th Jul 2019

My mom worked for a security company as an Sia but she was end dated. She now works for another security company and was supposed to work with them this weekend at a festival as a subcontractor but her old company have said she cannot work it. She received an email this morning from HR telling her this. When she asked her former company why this was and for how long they said it was a lifetime ban and she could not work any event that was run by them. This means it will be hard for my mom to find work during the festival season if her old company block her.

CATEGORY: Employment


2 answers
  • Curwens LLP


    This sounds as though your mothers previou semployer is seeking to rely on some restrictive covenants or restrictions which apply even though the employment relationship has ended (reference to end dated). I suggest looking at the contract of employment or any additional agreement that your mother signed when employed by the old security company to see how long the restrictions last. It is not usual for 'lifetime' bans to be imposed as they would likely be deemed unreasonable. The rationale behind restrictive covenants is that they are designed to protect the business of the 'old employer' and should only be for a period of time and scope that legitimately protects the business. They should not prevent your mother from working due to their unreasonable scope. If there is a 'lifetime' blanket restriction I would suggest contacting the old employer to try and negotiate with them and get them to agree a release so that your mother can work for the new company during festival season.

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    Curwens LLP

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  • Hattons Solicitors

    It sounds like something significant may have happened with the former company to end your mum's employment.  Your questions suggests that the old company do not want her working for them, or on any site they are responsible for i.e. they don't even want her to work on their sites even as a subcontractor for one of the old company's subcontractors.  If your mum had whistleblown or alleged discrimination and she is now being stopped working, then she may have a claim. 

    In these circumstances, any contractual restriction that tried to last for a lifetime wouldn't be worth the paper it is written on.  They just wouldnt be able to enforce it. 

    If something significant happened, or perhaps even if it didn't, it may be worth contacting the old company to find out what the problem is and try to resolve the issue.

    If the old company are releasing information about your mum to other companies, then they may well be in breach of data protection.  

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    Hattons Solicitors

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