Some time ago I had this idea for an app I could make outside of my job, but my contract states that I need permission from my boss. This clause isn't very uncommon where I live in Europe.
What is uncommon though, is companies actually enforcing this clause. At least according to what I've heard from other developers. It's usually just there to make sure you don't start a similar business and start competing with your own employer.
The company I work at has less than 100 employees, so it's not exactly a large corporation.
I'm writing this because my boss would not allow me to create this app. The reason was that they would have to spend company resources on verifying that it wouldn't hurt the company image, since I would be sharing it under my own name, and I am associated with the company as an employee.
Frankly it's killing my motivation to do any programming outside of my job, for commercial reasons or just hobby stuff. I fear I might end up stagnating because of this.
I'm not sure what to do.
I am not sure if this restriction even legal in Europe. The application I'm considering to make is not competing with my employer at all.
I looked online but couldn't find stories about similar things happening in the EU, and I can't afford legal advice at this time, so I'm looking for:
- Ideas (besides legal advice) on how to best handle this situation.
- Sources to stories about similar cases in the EU would also be appreciated.
- ideas on how to handle this before signing a contract at a different employer if I were to change jobs because of this