The Relationship between Restraints of Trade and Garden Leave


  • Yeukai Mupangavanhu University of the Western Cape



employment contract, restraint of trade, garden leave, proprietary interest and reasonableness.


The purpose of the article is to examine the relationship between a so-called "garden leave" clause and a post-termination restraint of trade clause in employment contracts, in view of the decision in Vodacom (Pty) Ltd v Motsa 2016 3 SA 116 (LC). The Labour Court grappled with the question of whether the enforcement of the garden leave provision impacts on the enforcement of a post-termination restraint of trade clause. Enforcement of both these types of clauses may be problematic. It can result in unfairness if an employee ends up being commercially inactive for a long period. The author argues that garden leave has a direct effect on the enforcement of a post-termination restraint of trade clause. Accordingly, a restraint of trade will be enforced only if the employer's proprietary interest requires additional protection beyond what is achieved under the garden leave clause.


Google_Scholar_73.png  ScienceOpen_Log0313.png


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...




Bhana, Bonthuys and Nortje Student's Guide

Bhana D, Bonthuys E and Nortje M Student's Guide to the Law of Contract 3rd ed (Juta Cape Town 2013)

Christie and Bradfield Christie's Law of Contract

Christie RH and Bradfield G Christie's The Law of Contract in South Africa 6th ed (LexisNexis Butterworths Durban 2011)

Cohen 1998 SA Merc LJ

Cohen T "The Enforceability of Restraint of Trade Provisions within a Wrongfully Terminated Contract of Employment" 1998 SA Merc LJ 383-391

Collins, Ewing and McColgan Labour Law

Collins H, Ewing K and McColgan A Labour Law (Cambridge University Press Cambridge 2012)

Dooka 1999 JBL

Dooka T "The Restraint of Trade Clause" 1999 JBL 135-137

Jagwanth and Kalula Equality Law

Jagwanth S and Kalula E Equality Law: Reflections from South Africa and Somewhere Else (Juta Cape Town 2001)

Hutchison and Pretorius Law of Contract

Hutchison D and Pretorius CJ (eds) The Law of Contract in South Africa 2nd ed (Oxford University Press Cape Town 2009)

Jeffers "Non-Competition and Employment Issues"

Jeffers R "Non-Competition and Employment Issues: England and Wales" in Lagesse P and Norrbom M (eds) Restrictive Covenants in Employment Contracts and other Mechanisms for Protection of Corporate Confidential Information (Kluwer Law International Alphen aan den Rijn 2006) ch 4

Kemp 2005 Stell LR

Kemp K "The Significance of Consideration Paid for Post-Employment Restraints in England and Germany" 2005 Stell LR 257-271

Marson Beginning Employment Law

Marson J Beginning Employment Law (Routledge London 2014)

Neethling 2008 SA Merc LJ

Neethling J "The Constitutional Impact on the Burden of Proof in Restraint of Trade Covenants - A Need for Exercising Restraint" 2008 SA Merc LJ 89-94

Turner Unlocking Employment Law

Turner C Unlocking Employment Law (Routledge London 2013)

Van Huyssteen et al Contract General Principles

Van Huyssteen LF et al Contract General Principles 5th ed (Juta Cape Town 2016)

Van Jaarsveld 2003 SA Merc LJ

Van Jaarsveld M "The Validity of a Restraint of Trade Clause in an Employment Contract" 2003 SA Merc LJ 326-345


Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995

Case law


Tullet Prebon (Australia) Pty Ltd v Purcell 2008 NSWSC 852

Seven Network (Operations) Ltd v Warburton 2011 NSWSC 386

New Zealand

Air New Zealand v Kerr 2013 NZEmpC 153 ARC 38/13

Marshment v Sheppard Industries Ltd 2010 NZEmpC 98

South Africa

Advtech Resourcing (Pty) Ltd t/a Communicate Personnel v Kuhn 2008 2 SA 375 (C)

Barkhuizen v Napier 2007 5 SA 323 (CC)

Basson v Chilwan 1993 3 SA 742 (A)

Bredenkamp v Standard Bank of South Africa 2010 4 SA 468 (SCA)

Brisley v Drotsky 2002 4 SA 1 (SCA)

Carmichele v Minister of Safety and Security 2001 4 SA 983 (CC)

Den Braven v Pillay 2008 6 SA 229 (D)

Drewtons (Pty) Ltd v Calie 1981 4 SA 305 (C)

Magna Alloys and Research (SA) (Pty) Ltd v Ellis 1984 4 SA 874 (A)

Naidoo v Birchwood Hotel 2012 6 SA 170 (GSJ)

New Reclamation Group (Pty) Ltd v Davies (17200/2013) 2014 ZAGPJHC 63 (20 March 2014)

New Reclamation Group (Pty) Ltd v Davies (A5033/2014) 2015 ZAGPJHC 7 (30 January 2015)

NRG Office Solutions (Pty) Ltd v Alexander (686/2015) 2016 ZAECGHC 14 (1 March 2016)

Price Waterhouse Coopers Inc v National Potato Co-operative Ltd 2004 6 SA 66 (SCA)

Reddy v Siemens Telecommunication (Pty) Ltd 2007 2 SA 486 (SCA)

Reeves v Marfield Insurance Brokers (Pty) Ltd 1996 3 SA 766 (SCA)

Roffey v Catterall, Edwards and Goudre (Pty) Ltd 1977 4 SA 494 (N)

Sasfin (Pty) Ltd v Beukes 1989 1 SA 1 (A)

Sunshine Records (Pty) Ltd v Frohling 1990 4 SA 782 (A)

Super Group Trading (Pty) Ltd v Naidoo (12726/2014) 2015

ZAKZDHC 64 (25 August 2015)

Turner Morris (Pty) Ltd v Riddell 1996 4 SA 397 (E)

Vodacom (Pty) Ltd v Motsa 2016 3 SA 116 (LC)

Wells v South African Aluminate Company 1927 AD 69

Zero Model Management (Pty) Ltd v Barnard (25541/2009) 2009 ZAWCHC 232 (18 December 2009)

United Kingdom

Beckett Investment Management Group Ltd v Hall 2007 IRLR 793

Brake Brothers Ltd v Ungless 2004 EWHC 2799 (QB)

Corporate Express Ltd v Day 2004 EWHC 2943 (QB)

Credit Suisse Management v Armstrong 1996 ICR 882 (CA)

Fitch v Dewes 1921 2 AC 158

GFI Group Inc v Eaglestone 1994 IRLR 119 (HC)

Intercall Conferencing Services Ltd v Steer 2007 EWHC 519 (QB)

Mason v Provident Clothing Co 1913 All ER 400

Printing and Numerical Registering Company v Sampson 1875 19 Eq 462

TFS Derivatives Ltd v Morgan 2004 EWHC 3181 (QB)

William Hill Organisation v Tucker 1998 IRLR 313 (CA)

Internet sources

DuMoulin 2016

DuMoulin M 2016 Garden Leave and Restraint of Trade Agreements - Can Garden Leave be an Effective Substitute for a Restraint Undertakings or can it Cause the Restraint Undertaking to be Unenforceable? accessed 27 March 2016



How to Cite

Mupangavanhu, Y. (2017). The Relationship between Restraints of Trade and Garden Leave. Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 20, 1–22.




Similar Articles

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.