Employment news, Research perspectives

BBC investigation claims Universities use NDAs to cover up harassment and sexual misconduct

A BBC investigation has found that UK Universities have spent at least £87m on some 4,000 Settlement Agreements over the past two years. This was based on a Freedom of Information request to which 96 of the UK’s 138 Universities responded. The BBC claimed that many of these contained non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) that sought to prevent allegations of bullying, discrimination and sexual misconduct from being revealed. Universities UK, the body that represents higher education employers, said that using NDAs to keep allegations quiet “should not be tolerated”.

The investigation follows the recent announcement by the government that the use of NDAs to cover up allegations of misconduct could be made unlawful. Consultation into the use of NDAs led by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy closes at the end of April.