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Consultation on new legal measures to protect workers from misuse of non-disclosure agreements

Makbool Javaid

The BEIS is consulting on the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and confidentiality agreements, setting out proposals to end their unethical use and encourage good practice from employers and lawyers. The Government point out that recently there has been increasing evidence to suggest that NDAs and confidentiality clauses are being abused by a small number of employers to intimidate whistleblowers and conceal incidents of harassment and discrimination. The Government’s proposals include: (a) legislate so that no confidentiality clause can prevent a person making any disclosure to the police, i.e. regardless of what a confidentiality clause says, a victim can discuss a matter with the police or report a crime; (b) require that confidentiality clauses clearly set out their limitations, either in settlement agreements or as part of a written statement of particulars, so workers know the rights they have when they have signed one; and, (c) ensuring a worker receives independent advice such as from a lawyer or union official on any confidentiality provisions within the agreement, and its limitations.

The updates are kindly provided by Simons Muirhead & Burton Law firm

This update provides summary information and comment on the subject areas covered. Where employment tribunal and appellate court cases are reported, the information does not set out all of the facts, the legal arguments presented and help judgments made in every aspect of the case. Click on the links to access full details. If no link is provided, contact us for more information.  Employment law is subject to constant change either by statute or by interpretation by the courts. While every care has been taken in compiling this information, SM&B cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Specialist legal advice must be taken on any legal issues that may arise before embarking upon any formal course of action.

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