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The government needs to overhaul the rules around non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to end the “cover-up culture” around discrimination and harassment in the workplace, a group of MPs has said.
In a report published today, the women and equalities committee (WEC) condemned the “routine cover-up” of allegations of discrimination and harassment in UK organisations and called on the government to ensure NDAs could not be used to suppress allegations or prevent legitimate discussion around harassment.
The report is the result of a seven-month inquiry into the use of NDAs in cases of sexual harassment, and is running alongside a longstanding investigation into sexual harassment in the workplace. It suggested many individuals found it difficult to work in the same sector after signing an NDA and some reported living with “emotional and psychological damage” as a result of their experiences, which affected their ability to work.
The WEC called for strengethened corporate governance requirements to ensure employers met their responsibilities to protect employees from discrimination and harassment.
It also recommended that employers be made to appoint a named senior manager to oversee anti-discrimination and harassment policies and procedures and any use of NDAs in such cases.
The report also called for government to address the “failure” of the employment tribunal system to provide a meaningful route of redress for those who have experienced discrimination or harassment at work, highlighting the difficulties employees face when pursuing a case.
For more information, you can read the People Management article here.