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Confidentiality clauses

Consultation on measures to prevent misuse in situations of workplace harassment or discrimination
Report type
Consultation response
Issue date
Introduction

The TUC is the voice of Britain at work. We represent more than 5.5 million working people in 48 unions across the economy. We campaign for more and better jobs and a better working life for everyone, and we support trade unions to grow and thrive.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the BEIS inquiry into confidentiality clauses and measures to prevent their misuse in situations of workplace harassment or discrimination.

Trade union experience of the use of confidentiality clauses in situations involving workplace harassment or discrimination relates mainly to their use in settlement agreements. However, trade unions also have experience of advising and assisting members who have been asked to enter into such confidentiality agreements before an event, or have confidentiality clauses in their contracts of employment.

Trade unions have been involved for many years in significant efforts to establish workplaces free of all types of discrimination and harassment. We see appropriate and ethical use of confidentiality clauses as an important step towards achieving this goal. The TUC strongly supports the current public debate that is taking place in relation to the human impact of confidentiality clauses in cases involving discrimination and harassment at work and we welcome the prospect of reform in this area of the law.