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14th February, 2020 by Jonathan Mumby
Acas have recently released fresh guidance to help employers and workers understand what Non-Disclosure Agreements are and how to prevent their misuse.
The new guidance makes it clear that Non-disclosure Agreements (NDAs) must not be used to stop someone from:
Acas appreciates there may be appropriate times for employers to use NDAs, such as restricting workers from disclosing sensitive business information or keeping details of an agreement confidential. However, the guidance encourages employers to be mindful of how often they are using them and whether they are really necessary. In particular, Acas advise against using NDAs to hide or brush problem under the carpet.
In any event Acas suggest that NDAs should be written in clear, plain English that is simple to understand and leaves no room for ambiguity. Any managers involved with NDAs should be well trained in using them and businesses should have a clear and consistent policy on their use that is regularly reviewed and reported on. Individuals should also be given an opportunity to ask questions about the NDA.
Jonathan Mumby comments:
"The new Acas guidance provides simple practical advice as to how employers should best approach these types of agreements, something which is increasingly relevant in light of many high profile cases where such agreements have been misused. The Government has further committed to providing updated legislation following a recent consultation into NDAs so expect more developments in due course."
If you would like to discuss Non-disclosure agreements or any form of confidentiality clauses in further detail, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the team.”