Employment news

Women and Equalities Committee cautioned on complete ban for NDAs

Baroness Helena Kennedy, director of the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute, in giving evidence to the Parliamentary Women & Equalities Committee on the issue of non-disclosure agreements, has cautioned against an outright ban on the use of NDAs in harassment and discrimination cases. She said this was because in many cases women also wanted to use confidentiality clauses, although she accepted that many women “do not find [an NDA] the release they thought it was going to be… if it’s been a serious assault”.

It was also the case that in other contexts, for example protecting intellectual property or trade secrets, there was a place for NDAs. She called for greater investigation into the regulation of the legal profession and the role of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in investigating patterns of harassment and their link to NDAs. Baroness Kennedy attributed the increase in the use of NDAs to lawyers looking “very creatively” at the law to get the best deal for their client.