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The Common Law Employment Relationship

A Comparative Study

Gordon Anderson, Douglas Brodie and Joellen Riley

The contract of employment provides in many jurisdictions the legal foundation for the employment of workers. This book examines how the development of the common law under the influence of contemporary social and economic pressures has caused this contract to evolve.
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Chapter 9: Employee mobility

A Comparative Study

Gordon Anderson, Douglas Brodie and Joellen Riley

Extract

This chapter considers the vexed question of limits on an employee’s mobility, both the right to change employment and to utilize their accrued human capital. Post-boomer generations do not expect to stay in a job forever, nor do post-Thatcher employers expect to retain staff throughout a full career. Fixed term contracts have come to dominate employment practices in many fields, especially those in the so-called ‘knowledge economy’. Three aspects of the employment relationship are discussed: the ownership of valuable intangible property created by employees; the scope for employers to seek protection from competition from their employees during the employment relationship in a world of ‘portfolio’ careers; and employer strategies to protect themselves from competition after the termination of the employment relationship. Keywords comparative employment law, contract of employment, restraint of trade, intellectual property

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