Another SME Damages Itself - by Tristam Price

Updated: Feb 25, 2020

In December 2019 Davis Trading Company Ltd lost its nightshift supervisor with 17 years service, to a competitor that was paying more. In a dick move Davis Trading tried to enforce a restraint of trade clause that has been slipped into a 2018 employment agreement that did not commit to offering a valuable consideration to support that clause.

In 2018 Davis Trading had acquired Provida, the company Mr Uelese originally worked for, and he was asked to sign a new Employment Agreement which is not unusual in itself. What is unusual is Davis Trading’s attempt to get something for nothing, and actually expose its sense of entitlement by way of a publicised ERA Determination.

Unsurprisingly Davis Trading did not get their Compliance Order, penalty and presumably, a contribution towards costs. And now, anyone who googles Davis Trading may find a link to an employment dispute that makes its management look vindictive and mean spirited especially when they must have known that Mr Uelese has a family to provide for. This could affect that company’s ability to attract and retain employees and would in turn have an effect on profitability and the value of shares in the company.

As was their right, Davis Trading management had insisted that Mr Uelese work out his one month period of notice. Now imagine the meeting where Davis Trading managers plotted to sue their store supervisor even before his employment ended? I think we’re all better off ignorant here!

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