The duty of fidelity and fiduciary duties
The duty of fidelity and fiduciary duties

The following Employment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The duty of fidelity and fiduciary duties
  • The duty of fidelity—general
  • Duty of fidelity—honesty
  • Duty of fidelity—competition
  • Duty of fidelity—preparation to compete
  • Duty of fidelity—secret profit
  • Duty of fidelity—disclosure of information to employer
  • Duty of fidelity—trade secrets and confidential information
  • Fiduciary duties—general
  • Fiduciary duties—the specific duties
  • more

All employees are under a duty of fidelity to their employer. The duty of fidelity is also known as the duty of good faith, or of loyalty.

Fidelity is a broad concept containing a number of more specific duties, some of which overlap both with each other and with the duty of trust and confidence (see Practice Note: The term of trust and confidence):

  1. to behave honestly—the duty of fidelity requires that an employee is honest in their dealings with their employer (see: Duty of fidelity—honesty, below)

  2. not to work in competition—employees may not work for a competitor organisation (including one they have set up) during their employment (see: Duty of fidelity—competition and Duty of fidelity—Preparation to compete, below)

  3. not to make a secret profit—employees must not make secret profit, and must give to their employer any money that they do make (see: Duty of fidelity—secret profit, below)

  4. to disclose information—as with money, so all information created in the course of employment must be passed to the employer (see: Duty of fidelity—disclosure of information to employer, below)

  5. not to misuse confidential information—any confidential information that employees learn in the course of their employment should be kept confidential throughout their employment. The duty survives the end of employment in relation to trade secrets (see: Duty of fidelity—trade secrets and confidential information, below)

Some employees