Virtually every business has a “key worker”. Key workers are those certain employees whom the employer rates as being of particular importance to the business and its operations. These are the employees that would leave serious shoes to be filled once they left and would not be easily replaced. Employers should always evaluate their staff, identify their key workers and establish how easy it would be for that key worker to leave their employment to understand the potential impact this would have on the business. As such, an employer should consider a number of contractual clauses when filling key positions in order to lessen the blow of losing a key worker. For example an employer could:

  • Include a lengthy notice period in the employee’s contract in order to allow sufficient time to seek a replacement
  • Insert a confidentiality clause or restrictive covenant in the employee’s contract so as to protect the company from that employee later setting up in competition within the same industry