Organizations could not misuse nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) — or confidentiality agreements — to cover up incidents of workplace sexual harassment, race discrimination or assault, under outline proposals published by the UK government. However, the government acknowledges that NDAs in employment contracts and settlement agreements still have “a useful and legitimate purpose,” such as protecting commercial confidentiality. Legislative proposals will be published “when Parliamentary time allows.”
The government’s proposals follow a March 2019 consultation and a 2018 parliamentary committee report that highlighted numerous recommendations and concerns about the use of NDAs in the discrimination area. A separate consultation on sexual harassment in the workplace and steps to tackle inappropriate workplace culture launched by the Government Equalities Office closes on 2 Oct 2019.