Confidentiality clauses: measures to prevent misuse in situations of workplace harassment or discrimination
24 July 2019
The Government is legislating so that limitations in confidentiality clauses or ‘non-disclosure agreements’ (NDAs) are clearly set out in employment contracts and settlement agreements.
The Government has published its response to the original consultation on measures to prevent misuse in situations of workplace harassment or discrimination which ran through March and April 2019, and the final proposals in the response include:
Legislating so that no provision in a confidentiality clause can prevent disclosures to the police, regulated health and care professionals and legal professionals
Legislating so that limitations in confidentiality clauses are clearly set out in employment contracts and settlement agreements
Producing guidance for solicitors and legal professionals responsible for drafting settlement agreements
Legislating to enhance the independent legal advice received by individuals signing confidentiality clauses
Enforcement measures for confidentiality clauses that do not comply with legal requirements in written statements of employment particulars and settlement agreements
The consultation response document provides an overview of responses to the consultation and sets out the steps government will now take. It will legislate to implement the relevant commitments when Parliamentary time allows.
A consultation on sexual harassment in the workplace has been launched by Government Equalities Office (GEO), which includes a call for opinions on interventions, other than enforcement, to stop the misuse of non-disclosure agreements in these cases. Government will consider these responses when looking at any future changes.