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  • Legal system, currency, language

    Constitutional. Kwanza Portuguese.

  • Corporate presence requirements & payroll set-up

    A foreign entity can engage employees in Angola with proper payroll registrations, subject to business, corporate and tax considerations. The employer is responsible for withholding from an employee's pay, and delivering to the tax authority, income tax and contributions to Angolan Social Security. The level of income tax is defined by the government and varies in line with the employee's salary.

  • Pre-hire checks

    Required

    Immigration compliance and pre-hire medical examinations.

    Permissible

    Reference and education checks are permissible.

  • Immigration

    Criminal and medical checks must be issued by competent authorities and a criminal record issued by the home country and a medical certificate issued by a doctor in the home country.

    The visa/work permit requirements for overseas nationals to work in Angola are: having a recognized travel document valid for the Angolan territory for at least 6 months; being of legal age; not being included in the national list of undesirable persons prohibited from entering into the national territory; not constituting a danger to public order or to social security interests; complying with all health regulations established by the Ministry of Health for entry into the national territory; having an employment contract or promissory employment contract; having a certificate of professional and educational qualifications and curriculum vitae;  and obtaining a positive opinion of the competent Ministry.

  • Hiring options

    Employee

    Indefinite term contract (which is the rule), fixed-term or open-term (i.e., a term contract whose termination date has not yet been defined, but that will be terminated as soon as the underlying need for contracting is no longer verified: e.g., as a contract to cover absence), part-time contract, telework contract and contract under service commission regime (a particular type of contract for high-level employees which provides flexibility for termination - not common). There are no restrictions or requirements for a fixed or open-term contract. Part-time, fixed-term and open-term employees may not be discriminated against due to their status.

    Independent contractor

    Independent contractors can be engaged directly by the company or via a personal services company. Engagement may be subject to misclassification exposure.  The factors that will tend to indicate an individual is an employee (rather than e.g., a self‑employed independent contractor) are:  Existence of a work schedule, scheduling of vacation, the worker’s legal subordination to the company, the company’s authority, direction and disciplinary powers, and control of punctuality and attendance over the individual; integration in the structure of the company, and use of work tools belonging to the company, etc.

    In the event of misclassification, is the relationship can be converted into an employment relationship on a permanent basis and the employer could be liable to pay a fine for non-compliance.

    Agency worker

    Agency workers can only be engaged to fulfil a temporary need for work. The agency work contract duration depends on the underlying reason for hiring (typically not exceed 12 months). Agency workers have the right to equal treatment to employees in relation to pay and other regular benefits.

  • Employment contracts & policies

    Employment contracts

    Written employment contracts are common, but not mandatory, except for fixed-term, part-time, telework, and service commission regime contracts, and contracts with foreign employees and  under-age employees,. Employment contracts cannot contain conditions that are less favorable to employees than mandatory employment legislation.

    Probationary periods

    Permissible.

    Employment contracts for an unlimited period of time may be subject to a probation period corresponding to the first 60 days of performance of work; the parties may, by written agreement, reduce or waive this period.

    The parties may extend the probation period, in writing, to up to 4 months, in case of employees who perform highly technical, complex work that is difficult to evaluate, and to up to 6 months in case of employees who perform management duties.

    In an employment contract for a limited period of time, the parties may set forth a probation period, in writing, and its duration cannot exceed 15 days in case of non-qualified employees or 30 days in case of qualified employees. Angolan law does not define qualified and non-qualified but the common practice is that qualified employees correspond to positions that involve technical complexity, a high degree of responsibility or special qualifications, as well as those carrying out functions of trust.

    Policies

    Employers with more than 50 employees must, in order to organize the work and labour discipline, draft and approve employee handbooks, guidelines, instructions, service orders and work rules defining rules for the technical organization of work, performance of work and work discipline, delegation of powers, employee job descriptions, safety, hygiene and health protection of work, performance indicators, remuneration system, working hours for the several sections of the company or work centre, control of entrances and exits and circulation within the premises of the company, and surveillance and control of production.

    Employer with 50 or fewer employees may, but are not required to, implement employee handbooks on the matters described above.

    Third-party approval

    Whenever the employee’s handbook or any other rules and regulations establish any rules on performance and discipline, remuneration systems, work performance or safety, hygiene and health protection at work, the employer must forward such regulations for information and registration purposes to the General Labour Inspectorate.

  • Language requirements

    Portuguese. Nevertheless, the employment contracts/other documents can be drafted in a bilingual template.

  • Minimum employment rights

    Employees entitled to minimum employment rights

    All employees are entitled to minimum employment rights.

    Working hours

    Maximum daily and weekly working hours are 8 hours per day and 44 hours per week. Overtime pay is required for hours worked in excess of these limits. These limits are inapplicable to employees who perform direction and leadership duties, duties of inspection, or provide direct support to the employer. In case the employee usually performs his/her work outside the company's premises, an exemption regime may also be agreed upon by the parties, in which case those limits shall not apply. Typically, employees under the exemption regime are entitled to an exemption bonus.

    Overtime

    Overtime is allowed to deal with an extraordinary increase in workload, or to prevent serious damage, or if due to majeure force. It is subject to maximum limits: (a) 2 hours per day; (b) 40 hours per month and (c) 200 hours per year.

    Overtime must be compensated with additional payment (increase of hourly rates) up to 30 hours per month: 50%. 30%, 20% and 10% depending on whether it is a large, medium, small or micro company dependent on number of employees and turnover. A company which is a subsidiary or branch in Angola of a company with headquarters abroad will always be qualified as a large company. Overtime that exceeds that limit is paid for each hour at an additional: 75%, 45%, 20% and 10% depending on whether it is a large, medium, small or micro company.

    Wages

    The minimum wage is established by Presidential Decree. It is set out as a general minimum wage, but there is also a minimum wage for trade and extractive industry groups, transport services and manufacturing groups and agriculture groups. Under the Decree currently in force, the general minimum wage is Kz 21,454.10. The following sector-specific minimum wages also apply:

    • trade and extractive industry groups: Kz 32,181.15;
    • transport services and manufacturing groups: Kz 26,817.63; and
    • agriculture groups: Kz 21,454.10.

    Vacation

    Minimum 22 working days per year (plus 12 public national holidays).

    Sick leave & pay

    Employees are entitled to take off as much time as they need for sick leave. For large and medium companies: In case of incapacity to work due to illness or common accident, pay is required, in the amount corresponding to 100% of the base salary for a period of 2 months. For as long as the employee is not entitled to protection in case of illness or common accident from the social security authorities, the employer must pay to the employee 50% of salary from the third to the twelfth month.

    In case of small and micro companies: The employee is paid, in case of illness or common accident, the amount of 50% of the base salary, within 90 days, after which the contract is terminated by expiration if the condition of illness remains.

    Maternity/parental leave & pay

    A pregnant employee is entitled to a paid maternity leave of 3 months. The amount of the maternity allowance is equal to the average of the two best monthly salaries from the 6 months preceding the commencement of the maternity leave. The maternity allowance is paid directly by the employer to the employee and, subsequently, the Social Security services reimburse the employer in full. Fathers are not entitled to any leave on the birth of a child; it is only considered as a justifiable reason for absence from work for one day.

  • Discrimination

    Discrimination based on the following protected characteristics is prohibited: race, colour, gender, ethnic origin, marital status, origin or social rank, religious beliefs, political opinion, union affiliation and language.

  • Benefits & pensions

    Both employer and employee have to pay contributions to Social Security in Angola to cover various employee benefits (e.g., maternity leave payment and retirement pension). The employer must withhold the contribution due by the employee and deliver both contributions (employer and employee) to Social Security every month.

    Current general rates are 3% of the gross wage for the employee and 8% for the employer.

    Employees with a minimum contributory period (35 years) qualify for a retirement pension at age 60 or in cases of total incapacity.

    Employers have no legal obligation to provide complementary/supplementary social benefits in addition to the social coverage provided for by the social public scheme. However, some companies – mostly large companies or multinational companies who have their own schemes worldwide – set up and provide private complementary health and pension schemes to their employees.

  • Data privacy

    The Data Privacy Law No. 22/11, June 17, governs Angolan data privacy and determines, in general terms, how to collect, use, disclose, store and give access to "personal information."

    There is no specific regulation on employee data privacy.

  • Rules in transactions/business transfers

    Provided that the same business activity is maintained, the new employer takes the position of the former employer in the employment contracts and takes its position in respect of the rights and obligations arising from the employment relationships This is the case even if the employment contract is terminated before the transfer. The new employer takes its position as the employer of such former employees in respect of due and non-paid credits. All credits, rights and obligations of the employer arising from the execution and implementation of the employment contract, its violation or termination, are subject to a statute of limitations of one year starting on the day following the day of termination of the contract.   The employees keep the same seniority and  acquired rights which they had in the service of the former employer.

    The new employer undertakes the obligations of the former employer limited to those incurred during the 12 months prior to the modification, provided that up to 22 business days prior to the modification, the new employer gives notice to the employees that they must claim their credits up to the second business day prior to the date scheduled for such modification. Within 22 business days following the modification of employer, the employees have the right to terminate the employment contract with prior notice, but this does not confer any right to compensation.

  • Employee representation

    Employee representative bodies are permissible, but not mandatory.

    Trade Unions are not common in Angola.

    In order to carry out their duties, trade union representatives are entitled to 4 paid hours a month, but must notify the employer in advance of the date and number of days they require for the exercise of trade union functions. Employers are obliged to provide a suitable place for workers' meetings whenever this is requested by the union representatives.  Special protections against dismissal are granted to employees who perform, or have performed, duties as Union Representatives, either as leader or delegate, or members of the employees’ representative body performing union related activities.

  • Termination

    Grounds

    Unilateral termination by the employer: dismissal based on objective grounds (redundancy reasons); disciplinary dismissal with just cause (based on serious breach of the employee's duties).

    Termination without cause (with notice): only for employees hired under an employment contract of service commission regime (a particular type of contract for high-level employees which provides flexibility for termination - not common).

    Other termination causes: mutual agreement, termination by the employee (termination with notice or constructive dismissal with just cause), expiration (fixed-term and open-term contracts, retirement).

    Employees subject to termination laws

    All employees.

    Restricted or prohibited terminations

    Special protection against dismissal is granted to: employees who perform, or have performed, duties as Union Representative, either as leader or delegate, or member of the employee’s representative body performing activities; women covered by the regime of maternity protection; war veterans as per the definition provided by the applicable law; employees under the legal age; employees with a reduced work capacity or with a disability degree equal or higher than 20%.

    As a general rule, a copy of the notice served on the employee must be forwarded to General Labour Inspectorate.

    Third-party approval for termination/termination documents

    Except in respect of protected employees, third-party approval is not required to terminate an employment.

    Mass layoff rules

    If economic, technological or structural circumstances occur, which can be clearly demonstrated and which involve an internal reorganization or conversion, or the reduction or the shutting down of activities, which makes it necessary to eliminate or significantly change job positions, the employer may terminate the employment contracts of the employees who perform such job positions.

    Collective dismissal rules will be triggered if the dismissal involves at least 20 employees.

    Information to the General Labour Inspectorate is required. However, there is no need to obtain approval for termination.

    The General Labour Inspectorate may undertake the diligence deemed necessary to a better clarification of the situation and, in case of a collective dismissal, during the period in which the evaluation of the General Labour Inspectorate occurs, the employer may promote a meeting with the representative body or with the Committee appointed for the purpose of exchange of information and clarification, and may forward the conclusions of the meetings to the General Labour Inspectorate.

    Notice

    For individual dismissals based on objective grounds (up to 20 employees): the employer must forward, at least 30 days in advance, prior notice of dismissal to the employee or employees who occupy the job positions to be extinguished or transformed.

    For collective dismissal: the prior notice is 60 days.

    Notice periods in case of term contract: 15 business days if its duration is equal to or higher than 3 months.

    Statutory right to pay in lieu of notice or garden leave

    Payment in lieu of notice is permitted (and required if the notice period is not honoured).

    Garden leave is allowed during the notice period.

    Severance

    Fair dismissal based on objective grounds (redundancy/collective dismissal):

    • Large companies: compensation corresponds to 1 base salary for each year of effective service up to the limit of 5 and an additional 50% of the base salary multiplied by the number of years of service that exceed such limit;
    • Medium companies: compensation corresponds to 1 base salary for each year of effective service up to the limit of 3 and an additional 40% of the base salary multiplied by the number of years of service which exceed such limit;
    • Small companies: compensation corresponds to 2 base salary and an additional 30% of the base salary multiplied by the number of years of service which exceed the limit of 2 years;
    • Micro companies: compensation corresponds to 2 base salary and an additional 20% of the base salary multiplied by the number of years of service which exceed the limit of 2 years.

    Fair disciplinary dismissal: no severance.

    Higher severance payments may be agreed and are usual as a way to avoid litigation.

  • Post-termination restraints

    A clause of the employment contract which restricts the activity of the employee for a period of time, which may not exceed 3 years from the termination of the contract, is lawful if the following conditions are met: (a) such clause is included, in writing, in the employment contract, or in its addendum; (b) the activity performed may cause real damage to the employer and may be considered as unfair competition; (c) the employee is paid a salary during the period of restriction of work: the corresponding amount will be included in the contract or its addendum, and it must be taken into account, in its calculation, the fact that the employer may have incurred in significant expenses in the professional training of the employee.

    A clause which requires an employee who benefits from professional improvement or higher level education at the expense of the employer to remain at the service of the same employer for a certain period of time, provided that such period does not exceed 1 year, in case of training of professional improvement and up to 3 years in case of courses of high level education, is also lawful if established in writing. In this case, the employee may release himself/herself from remaining at the employer’s service by repaying to the employer the amount of the expenses incurred by the employer, in proportion to the remaining time until the term of the agreed period. The employer that hires the employee within the period of restriction of activity in the company is jointly liable for the damages caused by the employee or for the amount not returned by the employee.

  • Waivers

    In principle, statutory rights cannot be waived and any waiver of such rights will be null and void.

  • Remedies

    Discrimination

    Fine corresponding to 5 to 10 times of the average salary paid by the company.

    Unfair Dismissal

    The employee may challenge the validity of the dismissal before the labour courts.

    If the relevant court declares the dismissal to be unlawful, by final judgment, the employer must immediately reinstate the employee in the same job position and benefiting from the same previous conditions, or, alternatively, shall indemnify the employee (compensation is different depending on whether it is a large, medium, small or micro company and the cause of dismissal).

    In addition to reinstatement or the compensation, the employee is entitled to the base salaries he/she would have received if he/she  had continued to perform work, until the date on which the employee finds a new job or up to the date of final judgment, whichever comes first, with a maximum limit of 6 months of base salary for large companies, 4 months to medium companies and 2 months for small and micro companies.

    Failure to inform and consult

    Not applicable.

  • Criminal sanctions

    Typically, non-compliance with employment laws leads to administrative proceedings which may lead to the payment of fines. If such non-compliance is based on violation of rights that deserve protection under criminal law, it may also lead to this type of judicial proceedings.

  • Key contacts

Post-termination restraints

Angola

A clause of the employment contract which restricts the activity of the employee for a period of time, which may not exceed 3 years from the termination of the contract, is lawful if the following conditions are met: (a) such clause is included, in writing, in the employment contract, or in its addendum; (b) the activity performed may cause real damage to the employer and may be considered as unfair competition; (c) the employee is paid a salary during the period of restriction of work: the corresponding amount will be included in the contract or its addendum, and it must be taken into account, in its calculation, the fact that the employer may have incurred in significant expenses in the professional training of the employee.

A clause which requires an employee who benefits from professional improvement or higher level education at the expense of the employer to remain at the service of the same employer for a certain period of time, provided that such period does not exceed 1 year, in case of training of professional improvement and up to 3 years in case of courses of high level education, is also lawful if established in writing. In this case, the employee may release himself/herself from remaining at the employer’s service by repaying to the employer the amount of the expenses incurred by the employer, in proportion to the remaining time until the term of the agreed period. The employer that hires the employee within the period of restriction of activity in the company is jointly liable for the damages caused by the employee or for the amount not returned by the employee.

Argentina

Non-compete, customers and services providers non-solicitation and employee non-solicitation clauses are often used, especially when the employer and employee negotiate the terms and conditions of the termination of the employment.

Restrictive covenants are capable of being enforced post-employment, provided the employee receives compensation for the restrictions. Therefore, consideration is required for valid restrictive covenants. The amount must be fair and in accordance with the salary of the employee, his/her position in the company, the agreements that the company intends to impose and the extent (period and territory) of the restrictive covenant.

The law does not specifically regulate restrictive covenants. However, most restrictive periods range between 2 years to 5 years. However, under certain circumstances the court has enforced a 10 year post-termination restraint period, based on the business and the amount of consideration paid to the employee.

Where an employee is in breach of an agreement, the employer can file a claim against the employee in court requesting compensation for damages. The complaint may include injunctive relief to stop the violation immediately. Alternatively, courts may declare the covenant null and void if it has been drafted too widely.

Australia

Those that protect the employer's legitimate business interests can be enforced to the extent reasonably necessary to protect those interests in all the circumstances.

Non-competes

Typically no longer than 12 months (with some exceptions).

Customer non-solicits

Permissible.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible.

Austria

Those that protect the employer's legitimate business interests can be enforced if reasonable. Garden leave is common for senior employees.

Non-competes

For special employees with a higher income permitted, but not longer than 12 months. If the non-competition clause is valid and enforceable (depending if (i) the employee terminates the employment or if (ii) the employment relationship has been terminated by the employer for good reason with immediate effect or if (iii) the employee has terminated the employment with immediate effect without good reason), there is no requirement for payment during the non-competition period. If it is not enforceable (eg, if the employer terminates the employment without good reason), the employer may pay the salary during the non-competition period in order to make the non-competition clause enforceable.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible in narrow circumstances.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible.

Bahrain

It is permissible to have restrictive covenants contained in the contract of employment to the extent necessary to protect the legitimate interests of the employer, provided the nature of the employee's work must have allowed them to know the company's clients and/or know the secrets of the business.

The covenants must be restricted in relation to their duration (which must not exceed 1 year), geographical scope and the nature of the business to be protected.

Parties are permitted to include a liquidated damages clause in the contract of employment, as it is difficult to obtain an injunction in Bahrain, but contractual provisions imposing a penalty (rather than a genuine estimate of the loss incurred) are likely to be unenforceable.

Non-competes

Typically no longer than 6 to 12 months.

Customer non-solicits

Typically no longer than 6 to 12 months.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible.

Belgium

Those that protect the employer's legitimate business interests can be enforced if reasonable.

Non-competes 

Strict conditions. In principle no longer than 12 months. Non-compete indemnity due equal to 1/2 of the remuneration due for the period of non-compete obligation, except for a non-compete in an employment contract for sales representatives.

Customer non-solicits 

Permissible, but only enforceable if reasonable.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible, but only enforceable if reasonable.

Brazil

Brazilian law does not address post-termination restraints, so enforcement of post-termination restraints can be challenging.

Non-competes

Periods of up to 24 months have been accepted, but enforceability is more likely for shorter periods (6-12 months). Case law has upheld non-competes that were limited with regards to scope, territory, timeframe and fair and reasonable payment.

Customer non-solicits

Generally permissible.

Employee non-solicits

Generally permissible, but case law is very scarce in this regard.

Canada

These are increasingly difficult to enforce. Restrictions must go no further than necessary to protect the employer's legitimate business interests. Garden leave is becoming more common. 

Non-competes

Will generally not be enforceable for mere employees and not where a non-solicitation provision would have been sufficient. Must be reasonable in scope geographically and temporally, and in some jurisdictions, must also specify the type of restricted employment and the restricted job functions. Must be clear and unambiguous. A requirement not to interfere with business relationships might also be enforced if it is reasonable, clear and unambiguous. 

Customer non-solicits

More likely to be enforced than a non-competition agreement, non-solicitation agreements must still be reasonable in scope geographically and temporally. Must be clear and unambiguous. 

Employee non-solicits

Likely to be enforced if reasonable, clear and unambiguous.

Chile

It is not against Chilean law to include post-termination restraints in an employment contract. However, since the Chilean Constitution explicitly protects an employee's right to work, courts may be unwilling to enforce such kind of restraints. 

Non-competes

Technically not prohibited, but may be difficult to enforce because of the constitutional protections identified above.

So far, the only post-termination non-competes accepted by the courts are those that provide compensation to the employee to compensate for the prohibition against competing. There are no clear parameters of the amount of the bonus and the maximum term of the non-compete, however a maximum term of 2 years is customary.

Customer non-solicits

Technically not prohibited, but may be difficult to enforce because of the constitutional protections identified above. A customer non-solicit may need to rise to the level of unfair competition in order for a court to enforce the clause. 

Employee non-solicits

Technically not prohibited, but may be difficult to enforce because of the constitutional protections identified above.

China

Those that protect the employer's legitimate business interests can be enforced if reasonable.

Non-competes

No more than 2 years. Compensation is required per local rules.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible, but relatively difficult to enforce.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible, but relatively difficult to enforce.

Colombia

Non-competes

Post-termination non-compete clauses or agreements are not enforceable. However, such provisions are typically included in employment agreements because they can have a deterrent effect or create a sense of moral obligation on the part of an employee.

Customer non-solicits

Post-termination customer non-solicits clauses or agreements are not enforceable. However, such provisions are typically included in employment agreements because they can have a deterrent effect or create a sense of moral obligation on the part of an employee.

Employee non-solicits

Post-termination employee non-solicits clauses or agreements are not enforceable. However, such provisions are typically included in employment agreements because they can have a deterrent effect or create a sense of moral obligation on the part of an employee.

Czech Republic

Only non-compete clauses are regulated by Czech law. Enforceability of other restrictive covenants is uncertain but should be permissible if reasonable, proportionate and tailored to the situation of the particular employee. Garden leave is not expressly regulated but increasingly common.

Non-competes

Permissible subject to compliance with statutory conditions (ie, maximum duration of 1 year; obligatory compensation of a minimum of one half of average earnings per month; justifiability given the position of the employee; obligatory written form).

Customer non-solicits

Not regulated. Enforceability is uncertain but should be permissible if reasonable, proportionate and tailored to the situation of the particular employee.

Employee non-solicits

Not regulated. Enforceability is uncertain but should be permissible if reasonable, proportionate and tailored to the situation of the particular employee.

Denmark

Non-competes

Under the Danish Act on Restrictive Covenants that entered into force on January 1, 2016, an employee may be subject to a non-competition clause only if he or she holds a very special position of trust, and the clause must indicate the specific circumstances as to why such a clause is necessary.

The compensation is either 40% or 60% of the monthly salary at the time of termination of the employment, and the first 2 months are considered minimum compensation. The compensation (save for the minimum compensation) may be reduced to 16% or 24% if the employee gets another suitable job.

For agreements entered into prior to January 1, 2016, a salaried employee may only be subject to a non-competition clause if he or she holds a trusted position, eg, if he or she has access to certain, otherwise restricted, information.

Customer non-solicits

After January 1, 2016, an employee may only be subject to a non-solicitation clause regarding customers and business connections with whom the employee has had business relations over the last 12 months immediately prior to termination of the employment. The compensation regime which applies for non-competes also applies to customer non-solicits.

Employee non-solicits

Since January 1, 2016, new rules have reduced employers' ability to use non-poaching and non-solicitation of employees' clauses. Pre-existing clauses are only enforceable if each of the employees whose employment opportunities are affected by the non-hire clause have been informed of the scope of the clause and have given their written consent. In addition, they must each receive compensation (50% of the remuneration during the restricted period) as stipulated in the relevant legislation.

Finland

Non-competition

According to the Employment Contracts Act, a post-termination non-competition obligation is possible for a particularly weighty reason related to the operations of the employer or to the employment relationship. The obligation may limit the employee's right to conclude an employment contract with a competing employer, and also the employee's right to engage in competing operations on his or her own account for a maximum of six months when no compensation is paid and up to one year should the employee be compensated. The restriction concerning length of the obligation is not applied to employees who, in view of their duties and status, are deemed to be engaged in the direction of the company, corporate body or an independent part thereof.

Non-solicitation

Non-solicitation of customers or employees is not regulated by the law. However, such covenants are possible and common. According to the case law, such covenants are comparable to non-competition obligations, and therefore subject to the same requirements.

Confidentiality

Post-termination confidentiality clauses are not regulated in the law, but such covenants are common.

France

Restrictive covenants are allowed if justified by the company's business and employee's role.

Non-competes

Allowed under 5 conditions: it must:

  • Be essential to the protection of the company's legitimate interests
  • Be limited in time
  • Be limited in space
  • Take into account the specificities of the employee's duties
  • Provide for a financial compensation (commonly at least 33% of the employee's compensation for the duration of the non-compete, but depends on the applicable CBA). CBAs may provide for specific terms.

Customer non-solicits

No legal requirement for a financial compensation, although their validity is currently challenged by the courts, which often consider that they in fact constitute a non-compete restriction and as such should be duly compensated.

Employee non-solicits

Allowed.

Germany

Need to be in writing. Those that protect the employer's legitimate business interests can be enforced if reasonable. Garden leave is common for senior employees.

Non-competes

Typically no longer than 6-12 months, with a statutory maximum of 2 years. Compensation of 50% of the employee's wages required during the non-compete period.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible in narrow circumstances.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible only if related to illegal poaching; an agreement not to hire employees from a certain business is not enforceable.

Hong Kong, SAR

Those restraints that protect the employer's legitimate business interests can be enforced if reasonable. Garden leave is common for senior employees.

Non-competes

Typically no longer than 3-6 months.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible in limited circumstances. Typically no longer than 6-12 months.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible in limited circumstances. Typically no longer than 6-12 months.

Hungary

Post-termination restraints are common in Hungary for employees in senior positions in order to protect the employer's economic interests for a period post-termination. Such restraints should always be tailored to individual employees.

Non-competes

Permissible for up to 2 years, if specifically included in the parties' agreement, if reasonable in geographical reach and scope, and if the employer pays a sufficient amount of compensation in exchange which, for restraints entered into after July 1, 2012, must be at least 1/3 of the employee's salary.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible, if included in the parties' agreement. Compensation is payable, but since separate compensation is not required for each different type of covenant, compensation for a non-compete will also cover a customer covenant.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible, if included in the parties' agreement. Compensation is payable, but since separate compensation is not required for each different type of covenant, compensation for a non-compete will also cover an employee covenant.

India

Non-competes

The Indian Contract Act 1872 provides that every agreement by which anyone is restrained from exercising a lawful profession, trade or business of any kind, is void. Therefore, non-competition clauses which operate during the course of employment are generally not regarded as restraint of trade. However, post-termination non-competition clauses are void and unenforceable.

Customer non-solicits

Possibly enforceable. With post-termination non-dealing/non-solicit provisions, it can be argued that a restriction on activities with customers is a restraint of trade, if by complying the former employee is prejudicially affected from carrying out any trade. Whether such a clause is enforceable or not is, therefore, dependent on the facts of the case.
Non-solicitation provisions, even if they are upheld, generally only entitle the employer to damages, and it is highly uncommon for an Indian Court to grant an injunction preventing the customer from taking his/her business elsewhere. At best, a claim for damages may succeed against the employee for breach of their contractual agreement if the employer can show that the enforcement of the provision is essential to protect its confidential information as well as that the provision does not prejudice the former employee's ability to carry on a business/ trade and therefore is not in restraint of trade.

Employee non-solicits

Non-solicitation provisions in relation to other employees can be enforced against a former employee but the courts will not generally grant injunctive relief restraining the employees who are being solicited from leaving the company.

Indonesia

Enforceable by virtue of the principle of freedom of contract, adopted in the Indonesian Civil Code. However, in practice they are very difficult (and sometimes impossible) to enforce.

Non-competes

Permissible in theory, but very difficult (and likely impossible) to enforce.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible in theory, but may be difficult to enforce.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible in theory, but may be difficult to enforce.

Ireland

Considered to be in restraint of trade and void. However, those that protect the employer’s legitimate business interests can be enforced if reasonable. Restraints need to be tailored for the specific business and the risks posed by the employee. Garden leave is common for senior employees.

Non-competes

Permissible in narrow, justifiable circumstances. Typical duration is no longer than 3-6 months with an absolute maximum of 12 months, depending on the circumstances. The geographical area must also be reasonable and not be too extensive.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible in specific circumstances. Typical duration is no longer than 3-6 months with an absolute maximum of 12 months, depending on the circumstances. The geographical area must also be reasonable and not be too extensive.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible. Length of restriction will depend on the circumstances.

Israel

Non-competes

Although common, generally not enforceable under current Israeli case law.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible. Typically not longer than 12 months.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible. Typically not longer than 12 months.

Italy

Those that protect the employer's legitimate business interests can be enforced if reasonable.

Non-competes

Typically no longer than 6-12 months. To be valid and enforceable, such clauses must be agreed in writing and limited in scope, territory, time (up to 3 years; 5 years for executives), and must provide an adequate compensation (usually around 25% to 50% of the annual salary for a 1-year non-compete for the entire Italian territory). If such requirements are not met, the clause is null and void.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible.

Japan

Generally enforceable provided that they are reasonable in scope and duration. Japanese courts will closely examine issues such as the geographic scope, whether the restraint is necessary to protect a legitimate business interest and whether consideration was given to the employee.

Non-competes

Generally permitted subject to the limitations noted above, and non-competition covenants should satisfy at least the following conditions in order to be held enforceable:

  • The duration needs to be reasonable*
  • A reasonably limited geographical scope
  • The types of jobs or businesses subject to the restriction are limited to jobs or businesses that compete directly or indirectly with the former employer's actual business
*No maximum is set by law, but 6 months to 1 year is common.

Customer non-solicits

Generally permitted, but enforceability will depend on the facts of the given case.

Employee non-solicits

Generally permitted, but enforceability will depend on the facts of the given case, since employees have a constitutional right to move to another company.

Kenya

Generally not enforceable. However, those that protect the employer's legitimate business interests can be enforced if reasonable. Need to be tailored for the specific business and the risks posed by the employee.

Non-competes

Permissible during employment, but only enforceable in narrow, justifiable circumstances post-termination. Usually contractually agreed upon between the employer and employee.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible during employment, but only enforceable in narrow, justifiable circumstances post-termination. Usually contractually agreed upon between the employer and employee.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible during employment, but only enforceable in narrow, justifiable circumstances post-termination. Usually contractually agreed upon between the employer and employee.

 

Kuwait

It is permissible to have restrictive covenants contained in the contract of employment, provided that the employee has become acquainted with the employer's clients or the secrets of the business and the covenants are reasonably drafted in relation to their duration, geographic scope and the nature of the business to be protected.

Parties are permitted to include a liquidated damages clause in the contract of employment as it is generally not possible to obtain an injunction in Kuwait, however any such penalty should not be exorbitant.

Non-competes

Typically no longer than 12-24 months.

Customer non-solicits

Typically no longer than 12-24 months.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible.

Luxembourg

Non-competes

A non-compete clause must be in writing, and is deemed null and void when the employee signing the contract of employment is under 18 years of age and/or if the employee's annual remuneration when he or she leaves the employer does not exceed €55,518.22 (index 814.40).

A non-compete clause is only valid if it anticipates an employee working as an independent contractor. The non-compete clause is only effective if the restriction:

  • Applies to a specific professional sector and to similar activities to those carried out by the former employer
  • Does not exceed 12 months
  • Is limited to a geographical area where the employee would be in a position to effectively compete with his or her former employer and taking into consideration the nature and scope of the relevant activities

Customer non-solicits

Valid under Luxembourg law to the extent that they do not aim at limiting the employee's right to work as provided for in the Luxembourg constitution.

Employee non-solicits

Valid under Luxembourg law to the extent that they do not aim at limiting the employee's right to work as provided for in the Luxembourg constitution.

Malaysia

Non-competes

Void and unenforceable pursuant to Section 28 of the Contracts Act 1950, as the former employee is "restrained from exercising a lawful profession, trade, or business."

Customer non-solicits

Valid and enforceable only to the extent that there has been a breach of contractual clauses in respect of confidentiality, confidential information, or trade secrets.

Employee non-solicits

Valid and enforceable only to the extent that there has been a breach of contractual clauses in respect of confidentiality, confidential information, or trade secrets.

Mexico

Non-competes

Post-termination non-compete clauses or agreements are not enforceable. However, such provisions are typically included in employment agreements because they can have a deterrent effect and even create a sense of moral obligation on the part of an employee.

Customer non-solicits

Post-termination customer non-solicit clauses or agreements are not enforceable. However, such provisions are typically included in employment agreements because they can have a deterrent effect and even create a sense of moral obligation on the part of an employee.

Employee non-solicits

Post-termination employee non-solicit clauses or agreements are not enforceable. However, such provisions are typically included in employment agreements because they can have a deterrent effect and even create a sense of moral obligation on the part of an employee.

Morocco

Non-competes

Permitted if limited in time and space. Usually 1 year maximum and 200 km maximum surrounding the place of work.

Customer non-solicits

Permitted if limited in time. Usually 1 year maximum.

Employee non-solicits

Permitted if limited in time. Usually 1 year maximum.

Mozambique

It is permissible to have restrictive covenants in the employment contract related to confidentiality, non-compete and non-solicitation after termination of the contract. However, there is no precedent where these kinds of clauses have been discussed in a court in Mozambique. In principle, these kinds of clauses would not be reviewed by a labor court, but rather by a civil court.

Non-competes

Permissible although not commonly enforced.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible although not commonly enforced.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible, but not common.

Myanmar

Non-competes

The labor legislation does not regulate non-compete clauses; employers may include such provisions in employment documentation. Sometimes their inclusion might raise issues at the time of registration of the contract with the TLO.

Customer non-solicits

These provisions are often included in executive level employment contracts, but are not regulated by law and sometimes raise issues at the time of registration of employment contracts with the TLO.

Employee non-solicits

Same as customer non-solicits.

Netherlands

Non-competes

Post-employment restraints to protect against competition are common in the Netherlands and are included in almost every employment agreement. Typically, such restraints remain in effect for up to one year after termination of employment. Non-competition clauses in fixed-term employment contracts are not allowed, unless they are necessary to protect a legitimate business interest and the business interests are clearly described in the employment agreement.

No payment required for enforceability.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible under the same conditions as described above under Non-competes.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible.

New Zealand

Restraints in New Zealand are enforceable only if the restriction is no more than is reasonably necessary to protect the legitimate proprietary interests of the employer.

Non-competes

Permissible.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible.

Nigeria

Non-competes

A post-termination non-compete is only enforceable if it is reasonable with reference to the interest of the parties concerned and of the public. In deciding the question of reasonableness, the courts consider the nature of the trade or occupation, the geographical area over which the restraint is imposed, and the length of time for which it is to continue.

Customer non-solicits

A post-termination customer non-solicit is only enforceable if it is reasonable with reference to the interest of the parties concerned and of the public. In deciding the question of reasonableness, the courts consider the nature of the trade or occupation, geographical area over which the restraint is imposed, and the length of time for which it is to continue.

Employee non-solicits

A post-termination employee non-solicit is only enforceable if it is reasonable with reference to the interest of the parties concerned and of the public. In deciding the question of reasonableness, the courts consider the nature of the trade or occupation, geographical area over which the restraint is imposed, and the length of time for which it is to continue.

Norway

Non-competes

Permissible. No longer than 12 months. Must be in writing.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible. Length of restriction will depend on the circumstances.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible between employee and employer. Generally not permissible between employers, except for up to six months in relation to the sale of businesses.

Oman

It is permissible to have restrictive covenants contained in the contract of employment, provided that:

  • The employee has become acquainted with the employer's clients or the secrets of the business
  • The covenants are reasonably drafted in relation to their duration, geographic scope and the nature of the business to be protected

Parties are permitted to include a liquidated damages clause in the contract of employment as it is not possible to obtain an injunction in Oman. 

Article 661 of Royal Decree No. 29/2013 issuing the Civil Transactions Law of Oman (CTL) states that:

  • If the work of the employee is such as to permit him or her  access to work secrets or to make acquaintance with the customers of the business, both parties can agree that the employee may not  compete with the employer or  engage in an employment which competes with it after the termination of the contract, provided that such agreement shall not be valid unless it is:
    • Limited in time
    • Restricted as to place
    • Specific as to the type of work the employee can undertake, all as necessary to protect the lawful interests of the employer
  • It shall not be permissible for the employer to rely on a non-compete agreement if it terminates the contract without justification (ie, there is no action on the part of the employee justifying termination), and likewise it shall not be permissible for the employer to rely on the agreement if it commits any act which justifies the employee's resignation in response (ie the employer's action justifies the employee terminating the contract).

Non-competes

Typically no longer than 6 to 12 months.

Customer non-solicits

Typically no longer than 12 to 24 months.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible. Typically no longer than 12 to 24 months.

Philippines

An employer, in the exercise of its management prerogative, may insist on an agreement with an employee for certain prohibitions to take effect after the termination of the employer-employee relationship.

Non-competes

Employer and employee are free to stipulate in an employment contract prohibiting the employee within a certain period from and after termination of his or her employment from

  • starting a similar business, profession or trade or
  • working in an entity that is engaged in a similar business that might compete with the employer

There must be a limitation as to time, place and trade. Courts have found a 2 year prohibition reasonable.

Customer non-solicits

A non-solicitation clause may be a stipulation agreed upon by the employer and employee in an employment contract.

Employee non-solicits

A non-recruitment or anti-piracy clause is likewise a stipulation that may be agreed upon by the employer and employee in an employment contract.

Poland

Post-termination restraints, in particular the confidentiality obligation, result from the statutory provisions or are imposed on the employee upon the separate agreement between the parties. Contractual post-termination covenants are relatively common in Poland in relation to employees who, during their employment, have access to particularly important information (eg, senior executives).

Non-competes

Parties to an employment relationship can enter into a non-compete agreement which will be effective during the term of employment, as well as after the employment relationship has ceased. A non-compete agreement must be concluded in writing in order to be valid. A non-compete agreement effective after the termination of employment must specify the period of prohibition of competition, the scope of the non-compete restriction and the amount of compensation due to the employee. The compensation must not be lower than 25% of the remuneration received by the employee prior to the termination of the employment relationship for a period corresponding to the period of validity of the prohibition of competition. Polish law allows such compensation to be paid in monthly instalments.

Customer non-solicits

Statutory prohibition to induce the employer's clients to terminate, not to fulfil or improperly fulfil their contractual duties with an aim for the inducing person to gain benefits for him/herself or for a third party or to cause damage to the employer.

Employee non-solicits

Statutory prohibition to induce the person performing work for the employer not to perform or improperly perform his/her contractual duties with the aim for the inducing person to gain benefits for him/herself or for a third-party or to cause damage to the employer.

Portugal

Post-termination restraints aimed to protect the employer's legitimate business interests can be enforced, provided that the activity carried on by the employee may cause a potential loss to the employer.

These types of obligations can be included in the initial employment contract, or can be part of a specific written agreement mandatorily containing:

  • An undertaking on non-competing and/or non-solicitation by the employee
  • The scope of the obligation (activity, territory)
  • The period of the limitation (the legal maximum is 2 years – 3 years in cases of jobs of trust or jobs with access to information of particular relevance)
  • The amount to be paid to the employee during the period of the limitation – the law does not provide any criteria, but usually it varies between 50% and 80% of the last monthly remuneration

In case these legal requirements are not fulfilled, the employee shall not be validly bound.

Non-competes

Permissible under the above-mentioned rules.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible under the above-mentioned rules.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible under the above-mentioned rules.

Qatar

It is permissible to have restrictive covenants contained in the contract of employment to the extent necessary to protect the legitimate interests of the employer, provided the nature of the employees’ work allowed them to know the company's clients and/or know the secrets of the business.

The covenants must be restricted in relation to duration (which must not exceed 2 years), geographical scope and the nature of the business to be protected.

Non-competes

Typically no longer than 6 to 12 months.

Customer non-solicits

Typically no longer than 6 to 12 months.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible.

Romania

Non-competes

The parties may negotiate a post-termination non-compete clause prohibiting the employee from performing an activity competing with the one performed for his or her (previous) employer.

In order to be valid, a non-compete clause must specify certain minimum content as required by the Romanian Labor Code:

  • The prohibited activities
  • The amount of the non-competition indemnity
  • The duration of the prohibition
  • The third parties for which the employee cannot perform the prohibited activities
  • The prohibited territory

As a non-compete restraint represents an exception from the principle of freedom of work, failure to comply with the legal conditions for implementing such a clause may render the clause void.

Customer non-solicits

Not expressly regulated by the law. May arguably be included within the scope of a non-compete clause.

Employee non-solicits

Not expressly regulated by the law. May arguably be included within the scope of a non-compete clause.

Russia

Generally unenforceable.

Non-competes

Generally unenforceable.

Customer non-solicits

Generally unenforceable.

Employee non-solicits

Generally unenforceable.

Saudi Arabia

Those restraints that protect the employer's legitimate business interests can be enforced if reasonable. Garden leave is common for senior employees.

Non-competes

Non-compete clauses will be honored as long as they are in writing and specified in terms of place, duration (no longer than 2 years) and type of work. If there is no written agreement, or an express non-compete clause is included in an employment contract, the law will not impose any restrictions.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible in narrow circumstances.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible.

Singapore

Covenants in restraint of trade are prima facie void in Singapore. They will only be considered enforceable if they can be shown to protect legitimate proprietary interests of the employer, and go no further than is reasonably necessary to protect those interests (especially in duration and geographical area of coverage). The courts have recognized three legitimate proprietary interests thus far: an employer's trade secrets and confidential information, the protection of trade connections, and the maintenance of a stable trained workforce.

Non-competes

Not enforceable, unless they can be shown to be necessary to protect the employer's legitimate business interests, and to be reasonable. Non-competes are also generally not enforceable if there are other clauses binding the employee that already protect the employer’s three legitimate interests, although this position may be changing.

Customer non-solicits

Enforceable, subject to the above and strict limitations. Such post-employment restraints may be enforced by courts if:

  • Necessary to protect the employer's legitimate business interests
  • Reasonable – both in the interests of the parties and in the interests of the public (eg, should relate to customers that the employee dealt with or had influence over, and be reasonable in duration and geographical area)

Employee non-solicits

Enforceable, subject to strict limitations. A post-employment restraint may be enforced by the courts if it is:

  • Necessary to protect the employer's legitimate business interests
  • Reasonable − both in the interests of the parties and in the interests of the public (eg, should relate to certain categories of employees that the employee dealt with or had influence over, and be reasonable in duration and geographical area of coverage)

Slovak Republic

Non-competes

Where an employee may acquire information or knowledge that is not normally available and the use of which could cause substantial harm to the employer, the parties may agree in the employment contract that, for a maximum of one year after termination of employment, the employee shall not pursue any gainful activity which is competitive in character with the employer's activity.

The employer must provide appropriate financial compensation to the employee in the amount of at least 50% of the employee's average monthly earnings for each month of the commitment. The employee and the employer may agree in the employment contract on appropriate financial compensation which the employee is obliged to pay if he/she breaches the agreed obligation.

Customer non-solicits

Customer non-solicits are not regulated by the Slovak Labor Code, and therefore, their enforceability is questionable. Furthermore, if agreed, they usually serve only as a deterrent. Soliciting of customers cannot be sanctioned (eg, by a contractual penalty), as the Slovak Labor Code does not permit this.

Employee non-solicits

Employee non-solicits are not regulated by the Slovak Labor Code, and therefore, their enforceability is questionable. Furthermore, if agreed, they usually serve only as a deterrent. Soliciting of employees cannot be sanctioned (eg, by a contractual penalty), as the Slovak Labor Code does not permit this.

South Africa

In principle, enforceable, with the party seeking to escape its effect having the onus of proving that the restraint ought not to be enforced, for being against public policy. The enforcing party must, however, be able to show a protectable interest, and the limitations to competition must not go beyond what is reasonably necessary to protect such legitimate business interest. Protectable interests include client relationships and trade secrets.

Non-competes

Permissible, in principle, if the employer has a protectable interest and the restraint goes no further than necessary to protect that interest.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible.

South Korea

Restrictive covenants are generally enforceable in South Korea, provided they are reasonable and protect an employer's trade secrets.

Non-competes

Enforceable if reasonable and necessary to protect the employer's trade secrets.

Customer non-solicits

Enforceable if reasonable and necessary to protect the employer's trade secrets.

Employee non-solicits

Enforceable if reasonable and necessary to protect the employer's trade secrets.

Spain

Those aimed at protecting the employer's legitimate business interests can be enforced provided that:

  • The employee receives adequate consideration
  • The restraints do not exceed 2 years for qualified employees and 6 months for non-qualified employees

Non-competes

Permissible under the abovementioned rules.

Once agreed upon, the employer cannot unilaterally waive, and therefore must pay the agreed-upon compensation. This restriction is usually agreed upon with high-profile employees only.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible under the abovementioned rules. Extensive solicitation could also be subject to civil law claims under unfair competition rules.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible under the abovementioned rules. Extensive solicitation could also be subject to civil law claims under unfair competition rules.

Sweden

There are no specific statutory rules under Swedish law prohibiting post-contractual restraints. Instead, the rules are normally contained in collective bargaining agreements, which may allow post-contractual restraints under certain circumstances. However, such restraints may be deemed unreasonable and set aside or adjusted by a Swedish court. If the employee is provided with compensation (at least 60% of the employee's monthly salary) during the restricted period, the chances of the restrictions being enforceable are typically better.

Non-competes

Normally 9 months, but at most 18 months. The latter normally only applies in exceptional circumstances. In order for a non-competition clause to be valid, the employee must be entitled to compensation during the restricted period. The compensation does not need to exceed 60% of the employee's previous salary with the employer.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible, but can be adjusted by a court ruling.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible. Non-solicitation clauses should not, however, extend beyond the legitimate interest to equalize the competitive advantage gained by the employee through the knowledge of the former employer's employees.

Switzerland

Non-competes

Possible, provided the working relationship allows for employees to have knowledge of their employer's clientele or manufacturing or commercial secrets. Non-competition clauses based on knowledge of the client are, in principle, unacceptable in circumstances where the relationship between employees and clients is essentially a personal one, based on employees' abilities and their particular relationships with clients. The restraint has to be appropriately restricted with regard to place, time and scope so that it does not unfairly compromise the employee's future economic activity. Typically no more than 1 year, if based on the knowledge of the employer's clientele, and no more than 3 years, if based on knowledge of manufacturing and commercial secrets.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible (with similar restrictions to non-competes).

Employee non-solicits

Permissible (with similar restrictions to non-competes).

Taiwan, China

In order for an employer/employee non-competition agreement/provision to be valid and enforceable, the following requirements must be met:

  • There are special interests of the employer that deserve protection
  • The employee occupies a certain level of position in the company
  • The restrictions on the new employment, with respect to the employee, duration, geographical area and professional activities, should be reasonable
  • A competitive action by the employee would be a violation of trust and faithfulness to the employer
  • Employees need to be compensated for loss from the non-competition obligation, separate from salary received from employment
  • The amount of any penalty must be reasonable

Non-competes

Permissible for restraint periods of up to 24 months.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible for restraint periods of up to 24 months.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible, for restraint periods of no longer than 24 months.

Thailand

Those that protect the employer's legitimate business interests can be enforced to the extent that they are reasonable and fair to the parties.

Non-competes

Non-competition agreement is permissible to the extent that it is reasonable and fair to the parties. Generally, a restriction period of not more than 2 years, within a restricted area (such as Thailand) is acceptable.

Customer non-solicits

Non-solicitation agreement is permissible to the extent that it is reasonable and fair to the parties. Generally, a restriction period of not more than 2 years, within a restricted area (such as Thailand) is acceptable.

Employee non-solicits

Non-solicitation agreement is permissible to the extent that it is reasonable and fair to the parties. Generally, the restriction period of not more than 2 years, within a restricted area (such as Thailand) is acceptable.

Turkey

Written form is a condition for the validity of a non-compete agreement. Non-competes are valid only if the employee is employed in a position whereby he/she has the opportunity to acquire valuable knowledge or trade secrets.

Non-competes

Non-compete undertakings:

  • Must be limited to a certain period of time (i.e., maximum two years)
  • Must be effective within a specified territory
  • Must be in relation to a specific business field

Limitation is not regulated under the law and must be determined according to the particular case. However, based on Court of Appeal decisions, it is not possible to stipulate the non-compete territory as "all over the world" or "Turkey as a whole."

For example, "within the provinces in Turkey that the company operates" will be a valid territory for non-compete obligation.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible.

Uganda

Considered to be in restraint of trade and void. However, those restraints that protect the employer's legitimate business interests can be enforced if reasonable. They need to be tailored for the specific business and the risks posed by the employee. Garden leave is common for senior employees.

Non-competes

Permissible in narrow, justifiable circumstances, if reasonable. Typically no longer than 6 months (maximum of 12 months), depending on the circumstances.

Customer non-solicits

Generally permissible. Usually 6-12 months. Not yet tested in this jurisdiction.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible. Usually 6-12 months.

Ukraine

Generally unenforceable. In practice, restrictive covenants can be included in separate (non-employment) agreements with  top management level employees.

Non-competes

Generally unenforceable.

Customer non-solicits

Generally unenforceable.

Employee non-solicits

Generally unenforceable.

United Arab Emirates

It is permissible to include restrictive covenants in the employment contract, provided that the employee is at least 21 years of age when entering into the restrictions, the employee has become acquainted with the employer's clients or the secrets of the business, and the covenants are limited in relation to their duration, geographic scope and the nature of the business to be protected.

Parties are permitted to include a liquidated damages clause in the employment contract, because it is not possible to obtain an injunction onshore in the UAE, although there are rules against "exorbitant" penalties being applied in employment contracts under the Civil Code. Starting from March 2017 there is a possibility to seek a ban on the employee's residence visa if they are in breach of a restrictive covenant which would prevent them from working in the territory of UAE.

Non-competes

Typically no longer than 6 to 12 months.

Customer non-solicits

Typically no longer than 6 to 12 months.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible.

United Kingdom

Considered to be in restraint of trade and void. However, those that protect the employer's legitimate business interests can be enforced if reasonable. Need to be tailored for the specific business and the risks posed by the employee. Garden leave is common for senior employees.

Non-competes

Permissible in narrow, justifiable circumstances. Typically no longer than 3-6 (maximum of 12) months, depending on the circumstances.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible in specific circumstances. Typically no longer than 3-6 (maximum of 12) months, depending on the circumstances.

Employee non-solicits

Permissible. Length of restriction will depend on the circumstances.

United States

Permissible restraints are generally governed by state law (statutory and common law) and vary significantly from state to state. In most states, post-employment restrictions that are reasonably necessary to protect employer's legitimate business interests will be enforced.

Non-competes

Enforcement of non-competes varies from state to state. Where they are permitted, restrictions lasting from 6 months to 1 year are generally deemed reasonable, and restrictions lasting more than 2 years are generally considered unreasonable (except in connection with the sale of a business). Some states (eg, California, Colorado, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington and Massachusetts) prohibit or otherwise strictly limit non-competes in the employment context by statute, except in connection with the sale of a business.

Customer non-solicits

Enforcement of customer non-solicits varies from state to state. They are generally permissible if the employee was involved with a customer and the employer aided in developing the relationship or if the employee obtained confidential information from or about the customer. Customer non-solicits are treated similarly to non-competes in most states, including that they are generally prohibited in California.

Employee non-solicits

Enforcement of employee non-solicits varies from state to state. They are generally permissible (except in California).

Venezuela

Non-competes

As long as it has been agreed in writing at the beginning of the employment relationship, is based on justifiable reasons, and remuneration to the employee is set forth (in an amount agreed between the parties), the employer may impose a post-termination non-compete of up to 6 months after the termination of the employment relationship.

Customer non-solicits

Permissible in specific circumstances (see non-competes above).

Employee non-solicits

Permissible in specific circumstances (see non-competes above).

Vietnam

Non-competes

There is no regulation of non-compete clauses in the Labor Code 2012. Article 23 stipulates that when an employee performs work which is directly related to business or technological secrets, the employer has a right to obtain the employee’s written agreement to terms of confidentiality for business secrets and technology, and on payment of compensation, which agreement is generally enforceable during employment should the employee breach such agreement.

Generally, non-compete provisions are permissible but the labor authorities have taken the view that labor documents can only deal with labor matters whilst an employee is employed and covenants in a labor contract that are drafted to survive termination of the labor relationship are not enforceable.  It is uncertain how the courts would interpret this. Given this, it is recommended that any non-competes that are intended to survive termination of the labor relationship also be included in a separate stand-alone contract between the employer and employee outside the labor contract (as such agreement will be treated as a civil agreement and covenants therein can survive termination of the labor relationship).

Customer non-solicits

Not regulated. Uncertain in terms of enforceability.

Employee non-solicits

Not regulated. Uncertain in terms of enforceability.