One of our client’s employees was found, after he handed in his notice, to have been using our client’s confidential information and its systems to conduct business for some clients of the business on side for his own gain. We advised the client on steps to be taken to obtain evidence that showed the extent of what he had been up to. This enabled the client to move swiftly dismissing him for gross misconduct.
To complicate matters though, the employee concerned was going to join a direct competitor but the employee’s wife also worked for our client. Our client was extremely concerned about the risk of confidential information being leaked by the wife to the ex-employee husband.
Dismissing an employee to protect the business from the risk of competition is rare. After all, the employee has not done anything wrong. But it can be justified in the right circumstances. So after discussing the risks with our client and guiding them on how to address this with the ex-employee’s wife, she decided to resign – perhaps realising that she would not be able to satisfy our client’s concerns about her coming under pressure to pass on its information on or doing so inadvertently.