Friday, July 24, 2015

Beware of Non-compete Clause in Your Offer Letter

This is something I learned lately while searching for a job especially for the job that posted by my company's competitor. So the conversation goes like that:

HR: What is your limitation?

Me: I don't have any limitation. I'm a full time permanent employee. I just need to give  4 weeks notice.

HR: No, I mean limitation such as what is the period you're not allow to join our company due to non-competition contract.

Me: Huh? I'm not sure about that but I believe is none. I need to go back and look at my offer letter and get back to you.

HR: Yes, give me a call when you find it out.

So I went back home and checked. You need to search for this few keywords (e.g. non-compete, non-competition) in your offer letter. It turns out that I can't join any of my company competitors in NSW after 12 months I leave my current company. So I called him back the day after. Since I was not 100% sure, I also copied the clause and sent it to him in email to confirm.

ME: I think if I understand it correctly, in my offer letter, I'm not allow to join your company within 12 months after I resign. I send the clause to you, can you please help to confirm?

HR: Yes, you understand correctly but normally employer can only hold an employee not more than 3 months and they can't stand legally to hold you for 12 months. Can you no working for 3 months? You can join our company after 3 months. You may also want to check with your lawyer.

Me: Let me think about it and I will get back to you.

I think for a while, I think it is not worth to take such risk. Furthermore, I can't be jobless for 3 months. So I decided not proceed with it. The HR called me back after few days I didn't get back to him, and I had no choice telling him not to proceed. So sad!

Key Learning

  • Read your offer letter carefully especially on non-compete clause
  • Negotiate to change or remove the non-compete clause in the offer letter
Sometimes it also depends on whether you are at right position to negotiate because you may lose the job. I will say as long as you're employed, you should negotiate this. I definitely will do it next. Ultimately  I want to remove this clause completely and if can't, I will aim to reduce the period to 1 month.
But now, I'm stuck...

P/S: I ask around people here it turns out employer suing an employee for non-compete clause is common here. So luckily, I didn't take the risk.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Buying Electronic Items Saving Tip In Sydney

I just learned this tip last month when buying TV in Sydney that we can actually get discount by showing the lowest price that you can find in internet. They will offer you at that lowest price or sometimes lower even though the item is already at offer price. For my case, I was lucky enough the get the lower price than what I proposed. Maybe this is because of the sale person who sold me this TV is also a Malaysian and I guess he earned less commission then? :)

As far as I know, 2 retailers that allows you to do this which are "Bing Lee" and JB Hi-FI. Any others? I bought my TV from "Bing Lee" because I don't find a lot of famous brands sold in JB Hi-FI at that time. Bing Lee has almost everything that I"m looking for.

Bing Lee is only available in NSW and JB Hi-FI is across the Australia I think. If you come across any other retailers that offer this kind of service, please share it with me. This reminds me how I bought my electronic items for my first home in Sungai Petani, Malaysia. :) Have a nice long weekend!

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