The Equality and Human Rights Commission has issued new guidance on the use of NDAs in discrimination cases.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched new guidance for employers on the use of confidentiality agreements in discrimination cases.
The guidance on non-disclosure agreements [NDAs] aims to offer both employers and employees clarity on the law around confidentiality agreements and when and how they can be used.
It also sets out good practice on the use of NDAs in order to encourage greater transparency and improved understanding of different types of discrimination at work, so that systemic problems can be identified and tackled by employers and employees alike. The EHRC says it also serves as “a timely reminder” for employers to update any out of date policies, such as those on bullying and harassment.
Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “We’re calling time on NDAs, which have been used to cover up discrimination, harassment or victimisation.
“There are no more excuses. Everyone should have the power to speak out about harassment and victimisation. Nobody should be silenced.
“We all have the right to work in a safe environment and a healthy workplace needs employers to step up and make sure those who work for them have a voice. Our guidance will help make that happen.”
The guidance follows the EHRC’s 2018 report ‘Turning the tables: ending sexual harassment at work’, which explained that, while some confidentiality agreements do have legitimate uses, they are routinely and inappropriately used to cover up, and stop workers from speaking up about, harassment. In turn, preventing discussion of discrimination on a wider scale.
It outlines some important dos and don’ts. They include: