Acas has published new guidance on the general use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in the workplace, to help employers and workers understand what NDAs are and how to prevent their misuse. 

The guidance is clear that NDAs cannot be used to prevent a worker reporting discrimination or sexual harassment at work or to the police, blowing the whistle on wrongdoing in the workplace or disclosing a future act of discrimination or harassment. It also sets out the circumstances in which it might be appropriate to use an NDA.

In addition, where an NDA is to be used, the advice states that employers should:

  • give a clear explanation of why one is being proposed and what it's intending to achieve
  • ensure that the worker is given reasonable time to carefully consider it, as they may wish to ask questions and seek trade union or legal advice on its implications before agreeing to it
  • think about whether it's better to address an issue head on rather than try to cover it up
  • never use NDAs routinely
  • draft the document in clear, plain English that's simple to understand and leaves no room for ambiguity. 

Source: New feed