In a recent case to come before the Employment Court, a Search Order was granted to an employer against a former employee. The employer does business in the information technology and communications field and therefore handles large amounts of confidential information.

One of the employees informed the employer he was intending to leave the business and join a competitor. The employer tried to convince the employee to stay, without success.

The employee informed the employer he was taking advice about being required to sign an acknowledgment of confidentiality as required by his current employment agreement.

This concerned the employer who arranged for the emails of the employee to be checked.

The email review revealed that the employee had forwarded two emails containing confidential client information from his work email to a private one.

Based on this information, the employer applied to the Employment Court and was granted a Search Order without notice to the employee, an injunction against the employee preventing him from further dealing with the confidential information, and an independent barrister and IT consultant were appointed.

As an employer in an area of business that handles confidential information, it is vital to know what steps can be taken when that information is at risk, particularly when preventative action needs to be taken at short notice.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer