The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held in Khan v Landsker Child Care Limited that it is not in itself gross misconduct for an employee to make preparations for a future competing business. Nor is every piece of an employer’s information which he regards as important or confidential, and which the employee is aware of, necessarily confidential information as a matter of law.  

What does this mean?

Employees who take steps towards setting up after they leave in competition with their employer are not necessarily guilty of gross misconduct.  

What should employers do?

Employers should bear in mind that general knowledge and expertise that employees have accumulated while at work is unlikely to be regarded as confidential information belonging to the employer.