UK Government Calls for an End to the Abuse of Gag Orders

Government officials in the UK are calling for an end to the widespread abuse of non-disclosure agreements, or gag orders. These contracts prevent victims of sexual abuse or harassment from speaking about their experience.

Parliamentarians recently released a report on the issue after an inquiry into the practice. The report suggests the government ensures the contracts don’t prevent discussions of discrimination or unlawful behavior. It also recommends making it easier for employees to bring their cases to court.

It's reported NDA’s take a psychological toll on employees and makes it hard for them to tell their next employer why they left their previous job. Employees worry they'll be considered troublesome for speaking out with many finding their careers damaged. The report also found NDA’s used in pregnancy and maternal-related matters.

The head of Parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee Maria Miller said the use of NDA’s was murky at best, “and at worst a convenient vehicle for covering up unlawful activity with legally sanctioned secrecy.”

The Realist Woman’s take:

NDA’s are all about covering up something horrible without any real consequences for the perpetrators. Powerful men have abused this get-out-of- jail-with-a-little-settlement-card for too long. It's refreshing to see government officials take this stand against powerful men to protect women.