Non-competition Clause in the Employment Contract between the Protection of the Legitimate Interests of the Employer and the Worker’s Right to Work: A Comparative Analysis Study
Dr. Shawakh bin Mohammed Al Ahmad
Associate Professor – Faculty of Law – University of Dar Al Uloom – Riyadh – KSA
In order to protect against possible competition from former workers whose contracts have expired, and since the legal obligation of the worker to keep the secrets he is informed of during his work, meaning: not disclosing them, i.e. not to transfer them to others, and as this obligation expires at the end of the employment contract, employers resort to the inclusion of a clause in the employment contract, or under a subsequent agreement that prevents the worker from competing after the end of the contract. However, such a condition or agreement places a serious restriction on the freedom of work, so it had to be regulated in a way that protects the legitimate interests of the employer, while not harming the freedom of work, which is one of the fundamental freedoms of the human being, in addition to protecting freedom of trade and industry.
Therefore, our study of the non-competition requirement first deals with determining what this condition or agreement is, and then clarifies the legal provisions of this condition or that agreement. The study then presents the reasons that lead to the demise of that condition. The study clarified the obligations of the worker if the condition or agreement on non-competition is correct, including a financial compensation to those who agree to this clause in order to ensure that employers do not unnecessarily extend the non-competition period. We conclude the study with recommendations, including developing a provision that stipulates that the non-competition period shall not exceed 12 months.
Keywords: Non-competition clause, customers, professional secrets.