To Theresa May and the government,
Non Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) are being used by powerful employers to cover up the appalling treatment of some of their staff. Companies can use them regularly to hide issues like sexual harassment, racism, and pregnancy and maternity discrimination. Employees are being subjected to vile treatment, they’re then paid a sum of money and forced to sign an agreement which will gag them from speaking publicly about what happened.
We want to stop employers using NDAs to mask bad behaviour and the only way we can achieve this is by having a body which oversees and monitors NDAs. All NDAs must be reported to this body and they would have the power to investigate and act, if they have concerns.
Please ensure that NDAs are monitored and scrutinised by an independent body to stop companies using them to silence staff.
Why is this important?
My friend, Laura, was working at a senior level for a household brand when she discovered she was pregnant. When she told her boss, the response was worse than expected, she was made to feel like a burden to the company. After months of negative comments and harassment, she was made redundant. She took the money and signed the agreement without a fight as the company had ground her down. She was heavily pregnant, very vulnerable and wanted it all to be over so she could concentrate on her baby.
After signing the agreement, she discovered that the company had used a similar method before. Pregnant employees were being systematically pushed out of the company when they were at their most vulnerable. They were forced to sign a Non Disclosure Agreements in return for a measly sum of cash. Laura regrets signing the NDA and has had counselling to try and repair her mental health, but she still suffers with severe depression and anxiety as a result of what occurred. Her councillor believes that speaking about what happened is the only way Laura will recover but the law has forced her silence. There are thousands more with similar experiences.
We’re not asking for an end to NDAs altogether as they can sometimes be useful for the victim. NDAs stop an employer bad mouthing the victim to other professionals in the sector and they encourage a settlement before tribunal. But NDAs are often used to cover up abhorrent behaviour by silencing people, thereby saving the company’s reputation. It’s shocking that this behaviour is allowed to continue unchecked.
Please sign the petition now: