Non-compete agreements, or NCA for short, are an important tool for businesses to protect their intellectual property and prevent former employees from stealing clients or confidential information. In Poland, these agreements are known as “umowa o niekonkurencję” or “umowa o ograniczeniu konkurencji.”
The purpose of an NCA is to restrict a former employee`s ability to compete with their former employer for a certain period of time and within a certain geographical area. The agreement typically includes terms that prohibit the former employee from soliciting clients, recruiting former colleagues, or using confidential information during the restricted period.
The use of NCAs has been a topic of controversy in Poland, with some arguing they restrict individuals` professional freedom. However, the Polish Labor Code allows for the use of NCAs as long as they are reasonable and proportional to the legitimate interests of the employer.
It`s important to note that NCAs must be carefully drafted to ensure that they are enforceable. The restrictions must be reasonable in terms of duration, geography, and scope. Any overly restrictive clauses may be deemed invalid, and the entire NCA may be thrown out by a court.
Generally, an NCA should not exceed a period of two years, and the geographical area should be limited to a certain distance from the employer`s premises or the employee`s place of work. The scope of the restrictions should also be reasonable and directly related to the employer`s legitimate interests.
When an NCA is violated, the employer can take legal action to seek damages or an injunction against the former employee. However, the employer must be able to demonstrate that the violation caused actual damage to their business.
In conclusion, non-compete agreements are a valuable tool for businesses to protect their intellectual property and prevent unfair competition. In Poland, they are known as “umowa o niekonkurencję” or “umowa o ograniczeniu konkurencji” and must be drafted carefully to ensure enforceability. Any clauses that are overly restrictive may be deemed invalid, and the employer must be able to demonstrate actual damage caused by the violation.