Align Management Solutions

    Move to review laws on non-disclosure deals at work

    Posted on June 8, 2019 by Miriam Ahern

    THE British government has announced a review of legislation on the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in the workplace. These ‘gagging agreements’ have often been use to cover-up or hide unacceptable behaviour or harassment by senior managers or business owners.
    These legal mechanisms – usually in return for enhanced payments – are becoming increasingly common in Irish workplaces as firms try to limit reputational damage by insisting on confidential clauses related to unacceptable behaviour.

    Ben Willmott, head of public policy for the CIPD, said:“We welcome the government’s plans to tackle the minority of cases where NDAs are used unethically to potentially prevent victims of alleged harassment or discrimination from speaking out about their experience.
    “We particularly welcome plans to make clear the limitations of a confidentiality clause so individuals signing them fully understand their rights. Proposals to ensure that individuals signing NDAs will get independent legal advice on the limitations of a confidentiality clause are also a positive step,” he added.

    “However, changes to the law alone will not help to prevent harassment and discrimination from occurring in the first place. There needs to be far greater recognition in some organisations that their culture has to change. This change starts with leaders and managers role-modelling the right behaviours and a greater focus on boosting diversity and inclusion.”