Being forced out of your jobMikey 13 comments
A good fiend of mine, one with whom I started with in this industry a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, is faced with an unfair predicament today.
Here in Australia the newly elected Government scrapped the extremely unpopular AWA's that were put in place by the previous Howard Government, but of course many companies still ask their employees to sign some sort of agreement or pack your things and head for the exit.
My friend has been presented with a new employee contract today, which has some dubious requirements, but the most disturbing is a Non-Compete clause that states that if he leaves the company voluntarily in the future, he must seek permission from his current employer to get a job in the same industry. This clause practically says that if he wants to be a software engineer elsewhere, he must satisfy his current employer that they are not in competition with them. Anyone who works in the software industry knows that every other software company is potentially a competitor, particularly in our small , so my friends options would be severely limited.
I understand what his employer is asking here. They don't want him to take any of the skills he las learned to a competitor that might help give them an edge. But it's hypocritical at the same time, because my friend could only have arrived at his current level by taking what he learned at previous employers and improving upon his skill set - you know like we all do. I know I wouldn't be the obsessive compulsive web standards Nazi that I am today had I not learned a thing or two at my previous job, which I have since improved upon substantially.
And adding to the hypocrisy the company in question claims "no-one in Australia competes with what we do". So exactly what is the Non-Compete clause for then? Is it really a 'just in case'?
The bottom line is it's unfair to punish an employee for being good at what they do, and it's reasonable to expect that should they move on, they will continue to use their skill set to the best of their ability and even surpass it.
As of a few minutes ago, my friend says he has no intention of signing the agreement, but knows the alternative offered by his employer is to be given 4 weeks notice. Kudos to him to sticking to his guns, but it sucks for a guy with a large family to support to be faced with being forced out of his job.
Has anyone else had their hand forced by an employer?