Bbc News Non Disclosure Agreements
British universities have secretly used a system of confidentiality agreements to silence students who report sexual assaults, according to a new BBC News report. The NDAs have been armed by powerful figures — Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein used the agreements to cover up his alleged sexual misconduct, ranging from sexual harassment to rape. Susan Clews, Acas`s chief executive, said today that there are “legitimate reasons” to use confidentiality agreements, such as protecting confidential business information. They are also known as the NDAs or “Hush Agreements” and rich and powerful people like Sir Philip Green, Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein would have used them. The use of confidentiality agreements to resolve allegations of sexual assault has been further investigated in recent years. Over the past two years, Teesside universities have spent more than $3.5 million on confidentiality agreements. Sometimes referred to as “gag contracts” or “hush agreements.” In labour law, these are parts of contracts or, sometimes, autonomous contracts between employees and companies. They generally prevent employees and ex-employees from publishing information. In legal practices, they are often referred to as “confidentiality clauses” but are better known to the public as NDAs. BBC News sent freedom of information requests to almost all UK universities and asked how many students had signed confidentiality agreements in the past four years as a result of a complaint and how much money, if any, had been paid. Ex-Harvey Weinstein assistant attacks “immoral” confidentiality agreements dozens of academics elsewhere in the country have said the BBC that such deals are being used for accusations of “silence” of moral harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct at universities across the UK. BBC News reported that a third of universities had used NDAs to resolve student complaints about sexual assault, moral harassment and poor teaching, which added to a total of $1.3 million. According to the report, schools paid more than $1.6 million ($1.3 million) to at least 300 students to comply with these confidentiality agreements.
Employers use confidentiality agreements to “hide illegal and criminal behaviour,” according to MPs. Today, BBC Online reported on the use of confidentiality agreements (NDAs) by universities. The article says universities have lobbied students to sign NDAs for complaints about sexual assault, moral harassment and poor teaching. We seem to hear a lot about confidentiality agreements these days. But they are also used by companies that want to protect their reputation by asking victims of sexual harassment in the workplace to sign “gag contracts” or “hush agreements.” The government said it was “unacceptable” to use NDAs for student complaints and that it was receiving laws to prevent such agreements from being hijacked in all sectors of society. Last October, Lord Hain, a former Labour minister in labour, used him to describe Sir Philip as a businessman accused by the Daily Telegraph of sexual and racial harassment after the newspaper was prevented from doing so by the injunction. A spokesperson told Newsbeat: “It is absolutely unacceptable that confidentiality agreements should be used to silence victims of harassment.