Major report on NDAs use in discrimination cases published after evidence from Prof Richard Moorhead
11 June 2019
In a major report released today by the Women and Equalities Committee, MPs are calling for significant restrictions on NDAs, improved corporate governance around harassment and discrimination, and further steps from professional regulators.
In the report, called ‘The use of non-disclosure agreements in discrimination cases’, 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 Women and Equalities Committee is calling for the Government to radically reset the rules on use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), without abolishing them, and address the failure of the employment tribunal system to ensure all employees who have experienced discrimination have a meaningful route of redress.
Professor Richard Moorhead, Chair of Law and Professional Ethics at UCL Laws and specialist adviser to the Women and Equalities Select Committee, gave evidence to the Committee earlier in the year and was one of two specialist advisers (along with Marian Bloodworh of Kemp Little). Professor Moorhead has suggested that using NDAs pose significant criminal law risks and professional ethics problems for organisations and lawyers deploying NDAs in too heavy-handed a way.
Commenting on the report, Professor Moorhead said:
"This report contains a great many important messages and detailed suggestions for reform for limiting the ill-effects of onerous NDAs. I urge everyone to read the report. I would also like to pay tribute to the victims, lawyers, and representative groups who gave evidence to the committee, sometimes in very difficult circumstances."
Professor Moorhead has also been quoted in numerous articles regarding the report.
- At best, murky: MPs slam ‘legally sanctioned secrecy’ of gagging orders in discrimination cases - Legal Business
- Lawyers “confused by boundaries in wake of #MeToo” - Legal Futures