Government announces clarification on NDA rights

The Government has proposed legislation to clarify the NDAs should not prevent people taking legal action in cases of criminal offences at work.

Sexual Harassment

 

The Government has announced plans to crack down on the misuse of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) or so-called ‘gagging orders’.

Proposed changes to the law announced by the Ministry of Justice aim to clarify that NDAs cannot be legally enforced if they prevent victims from reporting a crime and will ensure information related to criminal conduct can be discussed with the following groups without fear of legal action:

  • police or other bodies which investigate or prosecute crime
  • qualified and regulated lawyers
  • other support services such as counsellors, advocacy services, or medical professionals, which operate under clear confidentiality principles.

Many NDAs have been used to stop victims of sexual harassment at work taking legal action.

Victims and Safeguarding Minister, Laura Farris, said:  “Sexual harassment is unlawful in the workplace, and it is unacceptable that a few unscrupulous employers have previously sought to construct confidentiality clauses in settlement agreements, that suggest victims cannot report a crime to the police. This has never been the case and today we are making that crystal clear in law.”    

The Government says the legislation will be introduced as soon as parliamentary time allows.

 



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