The government has launched a consultation on preventing the misuse of confidentiality clauses in harassment and discrimination situations. These non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) can be a useful tool for employers in settling disputes whilst preventing reputational damage.
The government wants to clarify how far NDAs can go. It wants employers to say explicitly in agreements that certain disclosure rights are preserved, such as disclosures to the police. They want to make it compulsory for employees to get specific advice on any confidentiality provisions for the clauses to be binding. They also want to make employers spell out the limits of confidentiality provisions in contracts of employment.
These proposals should not affect the right to protect company trade secrets or to use NDAs as part of a settlement to create a genuine clean break. The government’s aim is to tackle misuse of NDAs rather than prevent their use at all. Have your say at:
If you have any concerns about your workplace, THSP’s Employment Law team work with companies to assist in managing these types of issues. Contact thsp.co.uk.