By Samuel McMahon

28 March 2017

When an employee ceases work with a business, a number of things need to be considered. Amongst these is the protection of your business secrets and contacts.

A large part of the parameters of these are already set down in whatever employment contract your employee has been working under (and therefore it is essential to have a properly-drafted employment contract, which we recommend you have legally reviewed prior to signing a new employee up).

However, there are other, supplementary, actions which you can take prior to the employee leaving which can help to protect your interests. For example, a diligent check of what e-mails, client numbers etc. are available to an employee and through what media (e.g. are they on the employee’s private mobile or laptop?) can help to reduce the opportunity an employee may take after termination to use them. Even though you may have the technical right to seek an injunction if the employee misuses e-mails retained on a personal laptop, or telephone numbers retained on a personal mobile telephone, timely preventative action can avert the need for an injunction application, which is costly, and whether to grant an injunction is always a matter of discretion for a court, a discretion the court may not choose to exercise in your favour for a number of potential reasons.

After an employee has finally left, it can pay to have a proper search undertaken of literature (particularly literature available on the internet and social media) connecting the employee to your business. Even if you are not physically in control of the material, you will be unable to take such appropriate steps as you can if you are not even aware of the material.

The termination of an employee’s employment, particularly one of long standing in your business, raises many questions which can have a complicated legal answer. Tisher Liner FC Law recommends that employers, and employees, uncertain of their rights surrounding termination to seek legal advice appropriate to your particular contract and situation.


For more information please contact Samuel McMahon or a member of the Employment Law Team.

Related Articles

View All
Business Law / Property & Development / International Investors

Self-Managed Superannuation Funds and Property Investment Part 1: Using Borrowed Funds for Real Property Investment

There are potentially numerous benefits for purchasing property via a SMSF including asset protection and concessional...
Read More
Business Law / Real Estate Agents

Underquoting Agent cops $720,000 fine

What was the case about The case involved 20 breaches of the Australian Consumer Law for underquoting The Agency had...
Read More
Business Law / Intellectual Property / IT & Technology

Protecting your brand: the importance of a trade mark

You may think your business name or logo is super catchy… witty… and perfectly encompasses the goods/services your...
Read More
Charities & Not-for-Profit / Business Law / Charities & Not-For-Profits

“I’m Just a Volunteer” – Liability of Directors or Committees of Not-for-Profits

Often though, the volunteer nature of these organisations may contribute to a failure by the organisation, its’...
Read More
Business Law / Commercial Contracts & Agreements / Franchising & Licensing

Uncertainty: Does your franchise agreement have an enforceable option or an agreement to agree?

Kiraig concerned a master franchisee Its rights to renew for a further term were typical in the franchising space They...
Read More
Business Law / Construction / Employment Law

September 2018 Newsletter

September 2018 Newsletter See the full newsletter here Welcome TLFC Law are pleased to welcome Min Seetoh to the...
Read More
Business Law / Corporate Advisory and M&A / Insolvency

Changes to Director Liabilities: Understanding Your Exposure

In essence, the legislation broadens director liabilities to now include GST, luxury car taxes and wine equalisation...
Read More
Business Law / Property & Development / Developments

Tisher Liner FC Law finalists in the Australian Law Awards 2018

The 18th annual Australian Law Awards, in partnership with UNSW Law, recognises the outstanding contribution of...
Read More
Business Law / Employment Law / Real Estate Agents

Are you complying with the Real Estate Industry Award? Don’t get caught out!

Changes to the Real Estate Industry Award 2010 Important changes to the Award include: Classification of employees and...
Read More
Australia-Israel Legal Advice / Charities & Not-for-Profit / Technology and Start Ups

TLFC – Award Finalist for Law Firm of the Year (Medium Category)

Tisher Liner FC are proud to be nominated as an award finalist in the 14th annual Victorian Legal Awards Medium Law...
Read More
Business Law / Commercial Contracts & Agreements / Small to Medium Enterprises

Insolvent Parties – Be Careful of Terminating Contracts

From 1 July 2018 (or earlier if the date is moved forward), the Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Enterprise Incentives No...
Read More
Charities & Not-for-Profit / Business Law / Charities & Not-For-Profits

Tax Effective Giving – Charitable Distributions Through Discretionary and Charitable Trusts

With a discretionary trust, the trustee determines which of the beneficiaries will receive trust income and the timing...
Read More