Women and Equalities Committee

The use of non-disclosure agreements in discrimination cases inquiry

Inquiry status: open

Report published; awaiting Government response.

Report published

The Government must reset the parameters around the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and address the failure of the employment tribunal system to ensure all employees who have experienced discrimination have a meaningful route of redress.

In the report, MPs condemn the routine cover-up of allegations of unlawful discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and the fact that some employers fail to investigate allegations of unlawful discrimination properly - or at all.

The report highlights the difficulties of pursuing a case at employment tribunal and the substantial imbalance of power that can exist between employers and employees which can drive employees to feel that they have little choice but to reach a settlement that prohibits them from speaking out.

Scope of the inquiry

Following its recent inquiry into sexual harassment in the workplace, which recommended that the Government should clean up the use of NDAs in sexual harassment cases, the Committee today launches a new inquiry to look at the wider use of NDAs in cases where any form of harassment or other discrimination is alleged. This might include, for example, pregnancy or maternity discrimination or racist abuse.

Terms of reference: use of Non-Disclosure Agreements in discrimination cases

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