Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) can’t be used to prevent employees from reporting sexual harassment, UK government-funded workplace expert Acas has said.
The body has issued advice on ‘gagging clauses’ amid allegations that employers are using them to stifle allegations of workplace harassment or discrimination.
Acas’s latest guidance says that NDAs cannot be used to stop someone:
- From reporting discrimination or sexual harassment at work, or to the police,
- To prevent whistleblowing,
- To stop someone disclosing a future act of discrimination or harassment.
It also says that employers should always clearly explain why any NDA is being proposed.
NDAs should not be used routinely, and the employee should be given time to seek external advice, it says.
In addition, the agreements should be written in plain English, Acas concluded.