Ministers set to crack down on workplace gagging clauses

Posted On: 
3rd March 2019

Ministers will crack down on workplace gagging orders that prevent staff reporting allegations of harassment to the police, it has been reported.

Retail tycoon Sir Philip Green before a parliamentary committee in 2016
PA Images

The Government will announce a change in the law that could stop employers from blocking payouts to victims if they report allegations to the authorities, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

It comes after the Telegraph reported that retail tycoon Sir Philip Green used controversial non-disclosure agreements to silence at least five staff members who accused him of sexual harassment and racism.

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NDAs that prevent employees reporting alleged crimes to the police are already void under the Employment Rights Act - but MPs have raised concerns that staff might not be aware.

Under the new plan the law will state that confidentiality agreements cannot discourage employees from reporting breaches of the law.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy told the paper: “This will help put an end to the unethical use of these agreements and encourage good practice from employers and lawyers.”

But fears have been raised that the change would not go far enough as police might not pursue allegations of discrimination.