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Author Topic: Restraint Of Trade Employment Contract Clause.What do you think??  (Read 8968 times)

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Offline Rodza1

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Hi guys,

I come from a smaller city in NZ, a bit quiet and consisting of about 40,000 people. I have a job interview for a position as a reg plumber/gasfitter coming up shortly and the word from former employees is that  the would be employer has a restraint of trade clause in his standard employment contract. I will find out for myself tomorrow.

Ive looked this up on google and it seems to say I cant work if I leave his employment as to protect his business secrets/knowledge although it also says it would be hard to enforce....but hey the person in question is also a current PGDB member so if I was really unlucky bye bye x3 tickets I have lol, or they could possibly make life difficult for me in NZ in other ways especially if I wished to be self employed!!  ???    >:(  >:(

If I were to work there I would recieve beneficial training most likely in gas appliance servicing as it is the only company in the city that provides this, how ever if I ever wish to leave a restraint of trade will apply.

 This means I will be un-able to work in my hometown where I am from for a period of two years allegedly at a radius of 80km allegedly so this will also include a lot of surrounding smaller towns also. I have a daughter in the same town that I see often and would rather not leave to live/work elsewhere if it didnt work out so this creates a problem....

The person in question has a awkward reputation in the city amongst most tradesman,a lot of his former customers ive met also were extremely dis-satisfied. Basically everyone ive ever talked to seems to have an issue with him that is not board related although I have never had a problem with him myself in the odd dealings in the past...but hey if it ends up its a harsh place to work which alot of places in this city seem to be....e.g The employers here always have the upper hand in recent times regarding contract negotiations as usually there is 1 job opportunity available at a time here so they can set the terms/conditions of work to their liking etc as they know we will take what we can get anyway. I have also been told one of the former employees went from registered to certifying in plumbing and gas and he was not offered any more money so left...bang...restraint of trade applies etc. See my point, they set the terms or have the ability to just lie during an interview to make their workplace seem attractive. My conscience tells me to stay away as ive heard too much bad information in the last 5years. I will go along to the interview though and apply benefit of the doubt, although I must admit I am skeptical. He is a talker, intelligent and has an answer for everything, ive been warned to use extreme caution.


What are your opinions thoughts on this???   I would be very interested to know if anyone else involved in plumbing and gasfitting has come across this before.   

Linkback: https://www.plumbers.nz/legal-matters-q-and-a/46/restraint-of-trade-employment-contract-clause-what-do-you-think/1119/
The Plumbers Gasfitters And Drainlayers Board- "White Collar Mafia"

Offline o2b007

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Re: Restraint Of Trade Employment Contract Clause.What do you think??
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2012, 10:26:58 AM »
Hey rodaz,
I would take the contract past an employment laywer to give it a once over many contracts have massive loop holes which make the clause nul invoid. Employment act alway rules over any employment contract and the contract must abide by these rules.
The clause that you have mentioned is normally aimed at employees becoming self employed and stealing customers away etc I would imagine it would be hard to enforce in the situation of leaving the company for another and the cost associated with it wouldnt really seem worth it. If this guy does have a reputation you have 2 choices Dont work for him or talk to a employment laywer at get the clause removed.

Offline Wal

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Re: Restraint Of Trade Employment Contract Clause.What do you think??
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2012, 12:02:29 PM »
Hi Rodza

They beauty of individual employment contracts is that you can negotiate what goes in them over and above what is required by law. This is one of those clauses so if you want the job but don't like the clause then as for it to be removed and if the new employer won't remove it then its possibly a sign of what you are getting yourself in to. Seek advise 

Offline Rodza1

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Re: Restraint Of Trade Employment Contract Clause.What do you think??
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2012, 06:01:27 PM »
Thanks for the feedback guys, yes I agree I will definitely get advice. I think putting that clause in there says a lot about the employer just to start with, it basically grinds a guys career to a halt in city like Wanganui. I will ask for a copy of his employment contract Wal and if I can get one I will ask about that and see to have it removed if the position suits me. Not that I think he will budge, but hey worth a go I suppose.

Perhaps I will just advertise my self on here instead and hope I get picked up by a decent employer......move elsewhere etc.
Either that or stay and become self employed as a certifier and drum up my own work....

Offline robbo

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Re: Restraint Of Trade Employment Contract Clause.What do you think??
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2012, 08:55:37 AM »
Hi guys/Rozda, I would not sign with that clause in the contract, if you can`t get it removed then, If I were offered that job I would accept a starting date then not turn up (waste his time) if he called up to ask where you are he would be told to `stick it`, I think you should name and shame this guy to let all prospective employees know that way he may change his contract wording or go out of business,cheers   

Offline aboutgas

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Re: Restraint Of Trade Employment Contract Clause.What do you think??
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2012, 08:30:14 PM »
Hi Guys not hard to work out who the employer could be as Rozda has mentioned the city/town and the fact that they cover servicing and are the only ones who do this. Also mentions he is a current board member.
A quick google search will quickly tell you who he is  ;)
Unless the moral improves the floggings will continue

Offline Badger

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Re: Restraint Of Trade Employment Contract Clause.What do you think??
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2012, 09:25:07 PM »
If it is the one I am thinking of ....he was the only gasfitter on the panel that over seen my hearing, a scottish gasfitter at that....but either withheld or was unaware of the British Standards, that( had he known/told them about it) would have put me totally 100% in the clear.



You can't choose who you are.....but you are the sum of your choices.......

Offline robbo

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Re: Restraint Of Trade Employment Contract Clause.What do you think??
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2012, 10:10:44 PM »
hi guys, i was wondering if this is a new thing initiated by the master plumbers for their member companies by way of the board in an effort to stop our tradesmen from becoming self employed and so having more guys employed and less competition,cheers

Offline Jaxcat

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Re: Restraint Of Trade Employment Contract Clause.What do you think??
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2012, 01:20:41 PM »
Robbo I can assure you it is not something initiated by Master Plumbers.  Clauses like this are worthless in my opinion - they would be costly to enforce.  Seeing people leave you and set up on their own is not the end of the world - you can form a relationship with them and mutually benefit each other - isn't this how anyone is business has started out.  In an industry like this it is inevitable that if you train people there is a chance that one day they will leave you to 1) work for someone else and take a step forward in their career, or learn new skills b) go overseas c) start their own company - some of them may come back to you, or form a relationship where you can refer overflow work to them.   I would say this particular employer doesn't like competition and tries to squash it at the first hurdle - it could almost be viewed as bullying by contract - but you have a choice to negotiate or not work for someone like that.  I've never seen this clause in any contracts locally - it could be restricted to smaller regions where they feel the competition hitting their pockets harder perhaps?  Still a pretty shitty clause, and certainly one I would question before signing.
Have you learned lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you?  Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed the passage with you?  (Walt Whitman 1819-1891)  American Poet

Offline Rodza1

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Re: Restraint Of Trade Employment Contract Clause.What do you think??
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2012, 08:26:58 PM »
Had the initial interview on tuesday, he didnt bring it up which I didnt think he would as it would only scare me off. I didnt ask too many questions and didnt bring it up as it wasnt yet appropriate but got a few questions ticked off my list I wished to ask and wasnt that impressed. Lots of good will expressed and talking it up, but its all for show. Still I feel its good practice to deal with these people,get more job interview experience and see what they are like for myself.
Ive been researching through his past employees this last week and what ive uncovered was exactly what I suspected. Ive decided to avoid working there like
someone would avoid the plague lol. My partner agrees. Still going to hear him out tomorrow morning as im guessing he wants to offer me the position and set terms. But yeah, from what he says he is like to what ive heard from trusted sources is completely different. Working there would almost certainly threaten my career. Worked too hard to get shafted by a crap deal. I will ask for a employment contract and take it away to review with my family anyway before declining.

Quote of the interview " I hold the Card!" Refering to his certifying gas license.

Offline Rodza1

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Re: Restraint Of Trade Employment Contract Clause.What do you think??
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2012, 11:01:42 PM »
Got the contract , Clause reads like this...

3.2 Restraint Of Trade

In consideration for the Employer taking on the Employee the Employee shall not at any time during the term of this agreement or for a period of 12 months after the termination of this agreement for any reason other than proven unjustifiable dismissal or redundancy, carry on or be connected, engaged, or interested either directly or indirectly or alone or with any other person or persons, whether as principal, partner, agent, director, shareholder, employee, or otherwise in any plumbing and/or gasfitting business which is carried on within a radius of 80km of the business premeises of the Employer situated at....street....in....city etc without the express written consent of the Employer.   



I definitely wont work for this guy as long as a clause like this exists in his employment contract. Who knows if this means I basically would be unable to associate with friends/anyone from other companies in the trade in my area???Work boots are also not provided, and a day in lieu for working on a public holiday is also not part of the agreement. Also if I choose to leave within 12 months he reserves the right to bill me for any costs he has incurred during my employment...this could mean a lot of things and could become very expensive if he chose it to be.....I doubt he has/will attract any decent guys to work for him because of this and would explain why the only guys he has retained over the past few years are apprentices.

What does a guy have to do to get a reasonable deal huh? Geez im not asking much, Ive got a good history,im tidy,presentable, x3 reg tickets, heaps of tools, a bloody hard work attitude and this is the shit I get offered...sigh... 

Anyone else out there in the big Nz had this problem?

Offline Rodza1

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Re: Restraint Of Trade Employment Contract Clause.What do you think??
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2012, 11:07:36 PM »
If it is the one I am thinking of ....he was the only gasfitter on the panel that over seen my hearing, a scottish gasfitter at that....but either withheld or was unaware of the British Standards, that( had he known/told them about it) would have put me totally 100% in the clear.

Yip your right on the money mate......Wanna know his catch phrase?? He repeats it every time I see him.

Honesty, Integrity, Ethics and Transparency....

No doubt that shit goes out the window when a prosecution is in full swing. When I first heard it spoken I thought of you and how he stood there at your appeal and said!!!......Nothing.....

Offline Enn

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Re: Restraint Of Trade Employment Contract Clause.What do you think??
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2012, 11:42:21 PM »
Hey Rodza  just remember you have skills and experience and in this day and age of a knowledge based society you have a good negotiation point with your tickets. One would hope there are outher employment options available in your area perhaps something better will come along thru the grape vine. Not all employers are out to exploit you unfortunately not all are living in the current century.

I recently had a job interview with a firm advertising for a registered plumber/drainlayer.  I believe that they were really after a labourer on a exemption. I have an allergy to peanuts. 



''Never have so many been fooled by so few''
Plumbing is not a career it is a disease....

Offline Jaxcat

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Re: Restraint Of Trade Employment Contract Clause.What do you think??
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2012, 11:43:27 PM »
It is illegal not to give a day in lieu for public holidays and to pay time and a half - it doesn't need to be in the contract - it is in the Holiday Act.  If any employer tries to shaft you over basics like this that are enshrined in law, then ring the Labour Department - they act pretty swiftly.  This is dark ages stuff - and the same with not supplying work boots - HS in Employment Act - all health and safety gear required for the job is to be supplied by the employer - from top to toe.  It's just not negotiable.   Said employer can ask you to hand in your gear when you leave e.g. boots, hi viz vests, goggles, safety glasses, hard hats, etc etc - this is fair as they own them - but if legitimatley need it then you are entitled.  I ask my guys to look after their boots - but I've spent near on $1k on boots in the last month (a few of them all wore out at once v :( as they start to show holes now the wet weather is here.  It's just a cost of business and has to be factored in to the overhead.

Offline Jaxcat

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Re: Restraint Of Trade Employment Contract Clause.What do you think??
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2013, 06:42:07 PM »
Mate individuals who are successful in this profession never look back full stop - they rarely lie in bed straight either, and they never use 3 words when they can use 400, put in in writing, bind it and charge you the equivalent of a small house for the privilege.  Laywers and politicans are this county's fecal matter dressed in a suit.  I would be ashamed if one of my kids said they wanted to be a lawyer or a politican in any of the existing parties.  I could however be proud of Wal if he stood for Parliament because he would then be the country's first honest politician.  They wouldn't know what to do with him.


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