New guidance from ACAS says that non-disclosure agreements cannot be used to prevent employees reporting sexual harassment to a colleague or to the police.
The resolution services body has published advice around so-called ‘gagging clauses’ following reports that employers are misusing them to stifle allegations of harassment or discrimination in the workplace.
The guidance explicitly states that NDAs cannot be used to stop someone from reporting discrimination or sexual harassment at work or to the police; to prevent whistleblowing; or to stop someone disclosing a future act of discrimination or harassment.
It also says that employers should always clearly explain why an NDA is being proposed, should never use NDAs routinely, and should always give the worker reasonable time to seek advice. The agreements should be written in clear, plain English, that is simple to understand and leaves no room for ambiguity, it adds.