Gagging Clauses In Settlement Agreements

They can fulfil a useful and legitimate objective in the context of employment, both in the context of employment contracts and out-of-court settlement agreements. However, a number of cases have been highlighted in which employers have used confidentiality clauses to prevent victims of harassment or discrimination in the workplace from speaking out. Whenever an employer considers imposing a gag clause, it should think carefully and perhaps give legal advice on needs, what it should cover, how it might be applicable and what negative consequences it might have. At this point, we must not confuse NDAs with transaction agreements. Transaction agreements also prevent the exchange of information by a staff member and are regularly used in the workplace as part of the dispute resolution process. The government wants to limit the application of confidentiality clauses in employment contracts, for example by specifying that legislative indications that have been stumbled or reported can be disclosed to the police. Non-compliance would lead to compensation for the worker if he were to file a legal motion with the labour court. – Ensure that employers clarify the limits of a simple English confidentiality clause, in a settlement agreement and in a written statement for a staff member, so that signatories fully understand what they sign and what their rights are; While concerns about the use of gagging clauses are legitimate, these clauses play an important role in limiting the risk to all parties to an agreement (including, of course, reputational risk to employers). Given the importance of gag clauses, instead of imposing a ban on the use of these clauses (as some national newspapers and public bodies have proposed), a more balanced view of the costs and benefits of “gag clauses” in certain situations should be taken – the imposition of “gag clauses” to prevent a victim of sexual harassment or a concerned physician from expressing his or her concerns to the appropriate authorities (or their lawyer or employer) is clearly wrong. , but in certain circumstances, for example, the victim of a sexual harassment incident may prevent the publication of harassment details.

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