A Confidentiality Agreement (NDA), also known as a Confidentiality Agreement (CA), Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA), Intellectual Property Information Agreement (PIA) or Confidentiality Agreement (SA), is a legal contract or part of a contract between at least two parties that describes confidential information, knowledge or information that the parties wish to communicate with each other for specific purposes, but which limits access to it. Physician-patient confidentiality (doctor-patient privilege-privilege), solicitor-client privilege, priestly privilege, bank client confidentiality and kickback agreements are examples of NDAs that are often not enshrined in a written contract between the parties. In the meantime, the government has released its response to the report of the Committee on Women and Equal Rights (WEC) on the use of confidentiality agreements (NDA) in cases of illegal discrimination and harassment. This response essentially outlines the legislative proposals announced in July. In the world of employer-employee relations, NDAs have been around for a long time. In the employment context, NDAs are generally not included in separate documents and are generally found in other documents, such as an employment contract or conciliation agreement (formerly known as a compromise agreement) concluded at the end of the employment relationship under the title “confidentiality” or “non-deviant comments”. The Harvey Weinstein scandal, which led to the #metoo movement, has highlighted the use of confidentiality clauses in the employment context, and the term NDA is now regularly used in the press as a generic term for any agreement containing confidentiality obligations, especially those used in sexual harassment when they are considered to be gagged victims for payment. The application of confidentiality clauses in transaction agreements is widespread; If you have a transaction agreement, it is very likely that it contained a confidentiality provision and therefore you signed an NOA with your former employer. Below, we look at a few other frequently asked questions in this area, why there is so much concern about the use of confidentiality clauses in the employment context and what is being done to remedy this situation. What is being done to regulate the application of NSOs and confidentiality clauses in the employment context? In March 2018, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) issued an alert on the use of ASAs in which it reminded lawyers of their ethical obligations in this regard and warned that disciplinary action could result in the use of certain practices related to the use of the NDA. The Law Society has also published a best practice guide. Last month, the government announced plans to combat the abuse of the NDA in the workplace.
Under these plans, employers and counsellors must ensure that individuals understand that the clauses do not restrict the ability to disclose wrongdoing against the police, health care professionals and legal practitioners and explain the restriction of confidentiality clauses in the agreement itself in plain English. There will also be new enforcement measures for offences. These reforms aim to increase transparency and create fairer employment to increase productivity and profitability for all. Time will tell if they go far enough. Meanwhile, celebrities are also working to help victims of harassment by launching their support for Emma Watson (actress, ONE WOMAN ambassador and Time`s Up UK activist) behind a free legal advice line for victims of sexual assault, created this month by the women`s rights charity, to enable women to understand and exercise their legal rights in the workplace.